by Keely Kwok
The entire creative team both on and off stage handles this difficult subject matter with the respect and care it deserves. There are moments of somber sincerity, outrage, confession, even brief interludes of humour - all with the purpose of communicating a story, of representing an ugly moment in Laramie history, but not letting it define them. With a cast of eleven, each actor plays several different roles ranging from Tectonic interviewers to the multitude of towns people. Everyone’s voice is heard and you leave feeling no one was misrepresented. It's fascinating to watch the actors’ subtle changes in physicality as they shift between characters. A touch of the collar, a slip of hands into pockets, the donning of a hat. Some standout performances are Curtis Kupkee as Matthew Shepard’s father, Sean Mason as the narrator, and Nicholas Surges as both Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. Henderson and McKinney were the boys who brutally beat Matthew and left him for dead tied to a fence post on the outskirts of town. Again, not for the faint of heart. Surges in particular is riveting to watch as the remorseful Henderson juxtaposed later against his portrayal of the unrepentant McKinney.
To buy tickets visit the Algonquin College Studio, N112, on Woodroffe Campus on the night of the show. Adult tickets are $10, while students, seniors and alumni pay $7. For reservations, call 613-727-4723 Ext. 5784. To April 21.