Coker Theater Ensemble to Present ‘The Laramie Project’

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Nov. 1, 2012 – The theater program at Coker College will present “The Laramie Project” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14, 15, 16 and 17 in Watson Theater in the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Kindra Steenerson, “The Laramie Project” is a docudrama written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project.

In 1998, the beating and murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard put a national spotlight on the small town of Laramie, Wyo. Afterward, members of the Tectonic Theatre Project conducted more than 200 interviews with Laramie residents and developed the play to explore the effects of the tragedy on the community as the community tried to find its way to a more hopeful understanding of the forces involved.

“Chronicling the effects of this high-profile hate crime on the small rural community in which it occurred, ‘The Laramie Project’ facilitates an extraordinarily moving theatrical experience,” said Steenerson.  “Perhaps because it is performed with an ensemble cast, involving individual actors playing numerous roles, the play presents audience members with an uncommon opportunity to imagine themselves in the shoes of Laramie’s residents with varying perspectives.”

Following the performances each evening, the cast invites interested members of the audience to participate in open discussion about the play and the themes it raises.

The cast includes Associate Professor of Music Will Carswell as Dennis Shepherd and student-actors Datra Cook, Sumter, S.C.; Jordan Davenport, Redondo Beach, Calif.; Patrick Doughty, Hartsville; Eddie Heinemann, Prospect Park, Pa.; Sarah McNamee, Aiken, S.C.; Jon Moree, Darlington, S.C.; Cecil Ray Morrell III, Hartsville; Brittanee Phillips, Hanahan, S.C.; Daryl Randolph, Hopkins, S.C.; Sammie Reece, San Antonio, Texas; Sierra Vennes, Williams, Minn.; Nina Vital, Dallas, Texas, Cody Weyandt, Beaufort, S.C.; and Keon Wilson, Sumter, S.C.

Set and lighting design are provided by Assistant Professor of Theater David Dawson.  Sound design is provided by Facilities Manager and Assistant Technical Director Jocelin Lehner, and stage management is provided by Jill Brantley, Blythewood, S.C. As a dramaturg for the project, Albert Ridgill, Hartsville, provided research-based consultation for the cast and crew.

“The Laramie Project” includes mature themes and language that may not be suitable for young audiences.

General admission is $5 and free with Coker identification.  Seating is limited, so early arrival is recommended. For more information, call 383-8382 or contact Lehner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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