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‘Laramie Project’ to be staged on East Brunswick Campus
‘The Laramie Project’ to be staged on MCVTS East Brunswick Campus
The East Brunswick Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School will be one of 49 locations around the nation to host a staged reading of “The Laramie Project,” a play about the 1998 murder of gay student Matthew Shepard.
The reading, free and open to the public, will be held Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium on the MCVTS East Brunswick Campus, 112 Rues Lane.
Two students behind the event, juniors Lauren Cyrus of South Brunswick and Jose Dominguez of Edison, said the number 49 was chosen to honor the 49 people killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June. The play, written by Moises Kaufman, is based on interviews during the trial of the killers of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. It was first performed in 2002.
Involved in the production are the 30 members of the Gender and Sexual Minorities and Allies Club on the East Brunswick Campus, as well as students in the MCVTS theater program. Maria Aladren, MCTVS theater instructor, is the director.
Both Lauren and Jose are in the cast, which includes professional and student actors and some MCVTS staff members.
Jose said the interviews used in the play are both positive and negative reactions to Shepard’s murder from people in the Laramie community.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity for our club to be involved in this,” Lauren said.
In conjunction with the performance, the club conducted a survey of students and faculty members. Among the questions was, “Do you think schools are a safe space for everyone?”
“There were both positive and negative responses,” Jose said.
Students were invited to submit essays and artwork that will be on view in the theater lobby during the play’s two intermissions.
“I am extremely proud of our students for taking on this very important subject,” said Principal Jeffrey Bicsko. “We want to support them in any way we can.”
Bicsko said the Gender and Sexual Minorities and Allies Club, which is open to all students, is 5 years old and has been especially active this year.
“It’s a great group of kids,” he said.
The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses, in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge. More information on the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools is available at www.mcmsnj.net.
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