JFK Drama’s Fall Play Teaser- The Laramie Project

From November 21st to November 23rd, as we all look to each other in acceptance, the JFK Drama Club performed a play depicting what happened long ago in Laramie, Wyoming with the absence of acceptance. 

“The Laramie Project” is a play set from 1998 to 1999, and it follows the Tectonic Theater Project’s conducting of hundreds of interviews after a victim of a hate crime in the rural town of Laramie sparked national attention. The play also notes the responses of the local community when it comes to discussing topics of what constitutes as a hate crime, the press’ breaking of personal boundaries when conducting their coverage on the matter, and the future of the community. 

Matthew Shepard, a Laramie resident who was openly gay, was beaten to death in gruesome fashion for his homosexuality by two people in 1998. This one case picked up massive media attention for an otherwise-quiet town, painting the whole community in an unaccepting and negative light. Although this case has become something of the past, its message still rings true; while hate is the predominant driving force behind homicide cases, the message of acceptance must be pushed to prevent further tragedies. 

“The Laramie Project” starred a wondrous cast of actors who all perform in multiple roles. The freshmen in JFK Drama include Gianna Bernardini, Jessica Flitsch, Alexandra Leavitt, Ethan Lido and Francesco Pellicani. Sophomore actors include Amanda Ham, Kiera and Kylie Matulich and the Crier’s very-own Nikita Rodov. By far the largest class within the club is the juniors, with an exceptional list of actors including Daniel Delgado, Brian Dorn, Jordyn Halper, Melanie Hernandez, Dylan Krapf, Gabrielle Levine, Katie O’Brien, Gabby Onesto, stage manager Faith Poveromo, Shion Renaud, Jessica Sarubbi, Emma Tiongson and Anna Varveris. Last, but not least, senior actors include Sal Bernardini, James Casazza, Drama President Blythe Nagel, Jamie Sherrard and Dylan Torres. Under new direction this year by the combined efforts of directors Mr. Seidman, Dr. Hoffman, and the new Drama Club President Blythe Nagel, the cast brought such marvelous emotions to each and every one of their performances.

Of course, a vital helping hand was extended by the talents of the JFK Stage Crew. With the leadership of Dr. Raimondi and Presidents Vinci Bonura, Tyler Kealy and Casey Ungarsohn, as well as the efforts of the crew and art crew members, a scenic wooden platform intended for the performance of all scenes was constructed. Being that this show is surrounded on all sides, the platform was built to accommodate viewers from nearly any angle.

All involved in the play’s performance were able to shed influential lessons on the topics of accepting others and the destructiveness of hate crimes— topics that urged the play’s viewers to stand with the people of Laramie and reciprocate that hate is not a Kennedy value, either.