Just because The Laramie Project is a frequent choice among college and high school theaters does not make it an easy play. With eight actors portraying more than 60 characters over three acts, it’s a challenge for the most seasoned of thespians and a worthy closer to the New World School of the Arts’ 2012-13 theater season. The play, which chronicles the town of Laramie, Wyoming’s reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, evolved organically and experientially from interviews in the town conducted by Moisés Kaufman and his Tectonic Theater Project, planting it somewhere between theater and documentary. The complex, multidimensional cast will play everyone from ranchers, mechanics, and waitresses to lesbian professors, the Rev. Fred Phelps, Wyoming politicians, and members of the Tectonic Theater Project themselves, all under the professional direction of Stuart Meltzer, fresh off his work on The Savannah Disputation at the Adrienne Arsht Center. If we’re lucky, we might encounter a real-life hateful picketer or two from Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, which has been known to send some of its unicellular mouth-breathers to regional productions of The Laramie Project.
Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 12, 2 p.m., 2013