“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” was performed by the Laramie County Community College theater department this past November and has been recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for five awards.
Brianna Perry and Charles Detheridge were both awarded with a nomination for the Irene Ryan Acting Award. Solveig Gasner was awarded with Meritorious Achievement in Scenic Design, along with Alexander Soden for Meritorious Achievement in Lighting Design. The entire production was awarded with a Meritorious Achievement in ensemble.
“I think (the awards) validates our work,” Jason Pasqua, the director of “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” and a LCCC theater instructor, said. “I think anytime somebody says nice things about you and your work and obviously the students work, all of our work; it definitely feels good. ‘The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’ is a play that to do and to have done it is validating in other ways aside from things that you can hang on the wall.”
“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” is an epilogue to the original play, “The Laramie Project,” which is based around the murder of Matthew Shepard. “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” is based around how Laramie, Wyoming has changed since Shepard’s murder, and how the people who were affected or involved in the murder have changed.
Pasqua said that the performance is truly an ensemble play because structurally they have only 11 actors who have to play approximately 50 characters. He said the award that is most special is the Meritorious Achievement in ensemble.
Pasqua mentioned that his connection to the play, and hearing about the connection that the other members of the play and the audience had to “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” was the most rewarding to him personally.
“I’m pretty sure that the play has personal connections not just for me, but for other people in the play too,” Pasqua said. “That’s a comment that we got a lot about how the play hits close to home, both literally as in geographically, but the number of people who came to the play who know this person or knew this person or character or ‘I had a connection there’; that’s probably the most satisfying part. I’ve been saying this, ‘The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’ is now almost 10 years old and it’s been quite a 10 years.”
Receiving awards for the performance of “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” wasn’t only special for Pasqua, but for Perry and Detheridge too, who were both nominated for the Irene Ryan award.
“It is an honor of course and so I try not to let it go to my head as an actor, you definitely don’t want to have that, but let it go to my heart and be honored for it,” Detheridge said. “It’s not like an Oscar or anything, this is for a student and this will certainly get me places. This is nothing professional but it will get me places, which is why I am thankful for the nomination.”
Perry agreed with Detheridge that the nomination was an honor and that there was still more hard work to be done.
“It’s just a really big honor,” Perry said. “Getting the nomination is very exciting. It’s definitely a lot of hard work.”
Both Perry and Detheridge will have a chance to earn the Irene Ryan Award this February when they will go up against the other nominees from Region VII at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Spokane, Washington.
They will be competing for the award against roughly 400 other students from various colleges in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
Perry and Detheridge will be performing a one-minute monologue as well as a two-minute and three-minute scene.
“There will be roughly 400 people nominated and we are competing against them for the actual award,” Detheridge said.
Even though it’s only been a month since the LCCC theatre program performed “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” the program is not wasting any time moving forward.
“I just want to say thank you and we are happy about the show,” Pasqua said. “It went well, but as you say, we are moving on to the next thing already.”
Pasqua has chosen “Lone Star” and “Laundry and Bourbon” which will be two one-act plays done back to back, as the 2018 Spring Semester performances.
“’Lone Star’ is three guys, ‘Laundry and Bourbon’ is three women and they are husbands and wives to each other in the play,” Pasqua said. “It takes place in Texas a couple of years after the war. It’s a post-Vietnam play, one of the guys in particular has come home and things have not been going well for him. They are comedies ostensibly but that is not all they are.”
Auditions for these plays took place in December. Perry will be playing Elizabeth in “Laundry and Bourbon,” while Detheridge will be playing Cletis in “Lone Star.”
“We do a lot of hard work in the theater program and I hope everyone comes and sees our new production that we are doing here in the spring,” Perry said. “It’s going to be really fun because its two short plays back to back and it’s definitely talks about Vietnam and what happened after Vietnam with the veterans and I think that is very important to talk about right now.”
The plays “Lone Star” and “Laundry and Bourbon” will be performed on April 19-21 and April 26-28 at the LCCC Playhouse.