This year’s fall play, “The Laramie Project,” saw the Harker Conservatory tackle some tough material with grace and style. Upper school drama teacher Jeffrey Draper directed this story about the 1998 kidnapping, beating and murder of a 21-year-old student in Laramie, Wyo. Due to the victim’s sexual orientation, the act was classified as a hate crime.
Compiled from interviews from Laramie’s citizens, members of the media and all manner of personalities surrounding the incident, the story plays out via a non-traditional structure in which “moments” are juxtaposed with one another. Every member of the cast worked overtime, portraying multiple characters, more than 60 in total, with a minimal set by Paul Vallerga meant to capture the open Wyoming plains.
The ever-present team of lighting designer Natti Pierce-Thomson, costume designer Caela Fujii and production manager Brian Larsen again came together to help produce this exceptionally powerful work. Several students also worked behind the scenes to produce the play, namely stage manager Aishu Murari, grade 12, sound board operator Zachary Wong, grade 9, video lead Tamar Sasson, grade 9, and light board operator Shilpa Repakula, grade 12.