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Theater and music present performances that aim at understanding  

Oct 7, 2009  
From staff reports   

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

The creators of the highly acclaimed play "The Laramie Project," which since 2000 has been one of the most performed plays in America, will premiere a compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the original piece titled "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later."

The School of Theater, in partnership with Arts for Ohio, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center, and Open Doors, will present a staged reading of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Walter Hall Rotunda.

The play, written by Tectonic Theater Project members, will be performed in New York at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and simultaneously in more than 100 theaters in all 50 states, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia.

The epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Shepard. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The play includes new interviews with Matthew's mother Judy Shepard, Mathew's murderer Aaron McKinney, who is serving two consecutive life sentences, and other residents from the original piece.

"We found the people of Laramie still fighting to own their own history, their own identity, their own story, and part of that is shaped by how they understand what happened that night to Matthew," said Leigh Fondakowski, one of five writers.

On Oct. 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo. He died six days later. His murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted the violence and prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face.

A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play "The Laramie Project," which they later made into a film for HBO. The play has been seen by more than 50 million people around the country.

The performance is free and open to the public. The reading will be preceded and followed by live coverage from the Lincoln Center that will include an interactive Q & A.

Iraqi oud musician shares traditions of the Middle East 

Rahim Alhaj's compositions evoke the experience of exile and new beginnings and seek to promote cross-cultural understanding and an awareness of the rich Arab musical heritage and culture.

This Iraqi-born and Grammy Award-nominated musician will present a lecture-demonstration and concert featuring the classical musical traditions of the Middle East titled "When the Soul Is Settled - Music of Iraq," at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Baker University Center Theatre on the building's second floor. The concert is free and open to the public.

Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, Alhaj studied under some of the foremost oud musicians in his country, graduating in 1990 with a degree in music performance and composition from the Institute of Music in Baghdad. The oud is an ancient Middle Eastern stringed instrument that is a forerunner of the lute and guitar and requires years of dedication and training to master.

Alhaj actively opposed the regime of Saddam Hussein and was forced to leave Iraq in 1991. In 2000, he sought political asylum in the United States and now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

Alhaj has performed hundreds of concerts internationally and his many recordings include "When the Soul Is Settled: Music of Iraq," which was produced by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and received a 2008 Grammy nomination in the Best Traditional World Music Recording category.

The event is sponsored by Arts for Ohio, the Arabic Language Student Association, Department of Classics and World Religions, Islamic Studies Certificate Program, School of Music, College of Fine Arts, Center for International Studies and Department of Linguistics.

Don't miss these other events:

  • Starting Friday and running through Oct. 16, the Athena Cinema and Arts for Ohio Cinematheque monthly film series will present a selection of critically acclaimed French-language films. These films include a variety of different plots and themes, ranging from mythology to a fight for civil rights. The Tournees Festival and the French American Cultural Exchange are sponsoring this series as a way of showcasing French culture in Athens. Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio/cinematheque.htm for more information.

  • In addition to the Cinematheque series, the Athena Cinema will host the School of Film First-year Student Film Screening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. The short films, completed during the students' second year of study in the School of Film, range from nine to 38 minutes.

  • A faculty recital, featuring Rebecca Rischin, clarinet, and Richard Syracuse, piano, will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at the School of Music Recital Hall in Glidden Hall. Rischin will perform works by Hindemith, Sarasate, Widor, Komives and Resonovic.

Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio/ to view the complete Arts for Ohio calendar of events.



Related Links
Arts for Ohio:  http://www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio/ 
School of Theater:  http://www.finearts.ohio.edu/theater/  
School of Music:  http://www.finearts.ohio.edu/music  

Published: Oct 7, 2009 8:36 AM  

Laramie Project 2004 performance  
The School of Theater performed the acclaimed play "The Laramie Project" in 2004. A staged reading of the epilogue, "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later," will take place concurrently with performances in over 100 theaters around the world at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12.

Photo courtesy of the School of Theater

Rahim Alhaj  
Iraqui oud musician Rahim Alhaj displays the classical musical traditions of the Middle East at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12.

Photographer: Douglas Kent Hall 


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