Matthew Shepard

Actor’s Express partners with the Alliance Theatre to bring Atlanta audiences a staged reading of a powerful new play,The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (An Epilogue).  Directed by Actor’s Express Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, the special event takes place on the Alliance’s Hertz Stage Monday, Oct.12, the 11th anniversary of the brutal murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

More than 100 other theatres worldwide will simultaneously present staged interactive readings of the story of a community reexamining itself in the wake of a tragedy, more than 10 years later.  In addition to the readings, there will be a live online discussion where participants can upload videos, pictures, blog, and even share their own stories about the play. The staged reading is presented free of charge.  Tickets are available through the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at or (404) 733-5000.

The original play, The Laramie Project, is the mastermind of Tectonic Theater Project, a company out of New York City. Shortly after the murder of Matthew Shepard back in October 1998, Moisés Kaufman, founder and artistic director of Tectonic Theatre Project, along with nine other company members, traveled to Laramie, Wyoming and started interviewing the townspeople there. With 200 interviews and a year and a half worth of work, The Laramie Project was brought to life, debuting in Denver in 2000.

Actor’s Express produced the Atlanta premiere of The Laramie Project, opening the show on Sept. 11, 2001, a day that holds its own grand-historic tragedy. Directed by Claudia Zelevansky, the show ran until Oct.18.  The Alliance Theatre then presented the original Actor’s Express production on the Hertz Stage two years later as part of the City Series. By collaborating with the Alliance Theatre again to present The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (An Epilogue), the work comes full circle.

“Actor’s Express is proud to have produced The Laramie Project in 2001 and we are thrilled to work with the Alliance Theatre presenting this Epilogue. The play’s message of community and tolerance are as timely now as a decade ago when Matthew Shepard was murdered,” Ashley says.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.