JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek High School will present two shows in October: “Life is Short” and “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.”
Performances will be Oct. 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased at jchstheatre.com.
“Life is Short” is a collection of short plays that take a comical look at relationships from childhood to old age. Some are charming and light, others dark and absurdist, but all eight gleefully portray people at their worst.
On the more serious side, “The Laramie Project: Ten Year Later” is a drama based of the true story of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten to death in 1998.
The crime brought national attention to the town of Laramie, Wyoming. “The Laramie Project” was written by members of the Tectonic Theatre Project based on more than 200 interviews with the people of the town over the months after Shepard’s murder.
Ten years later, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of his death. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history.
In addition to revisiting the folks whose words were included in the original play, the company spoke with the convicted murderers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, as well as Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard.
Director Debbie Prost said she was inspired to do the show because she was moved by a choral performance by Coro Vocati entitled “Considering Matthew Shepard.”
“Although I vividly remember the event and the news coverage, my students were not born when it occurred,” Prost said. “I have been so impressed by how they completely delved into all the information they could find. They fully researched each person represented in the play so they could portray them truthfully.”
Although the original catalyst for the story happened 20 years ago, Prost said the story is as relevant as ever. The “Ten Years Later” version in particular deals with how skewed accounts of a story can become.
“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” will also be performed at the Georgia High School Association One Act Play competition at Cambridge High School on Saturday, Oct. 26.