FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, August 23, 2021
Powerhouse Collaboration for ASL Production of The Laramie Project
Austin, TX, Deaf Austin Theatre is excited to be partnering with Hypernovas Productions to produce the first professional production of The Laramie Project by Moises Kauffman and the Tectonic Theatre Project.
Deaf Austin Theatre is a nonprofit theatre company located in Austin, Texas which strives to make both original and published works accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community through American Sign Language. DAT was last seen hosting their DAT Short Play Festival in May 2021, which provided an opportunity to showcase new, original short plays written by Deaf playwrights. It was streamed virtually through StellarTickets for all to enjoy. Prior to that DAT co-produced Next to Normal, the 2019 smash hit production of the year with Ground Floor Theatre. A production that went on to win many local awards.
Hypernovas Productions is an independent theatrical and film production company based in Los Angeles, California, founded in 2019 by Jules Dameron & Joshua Castille. Their projects have varied from immersive theatre, cabaret shows and short films. Hypernovas Production’s mission is to elevate worldwide stages by incorporating experiences and perspectives of the d/Deaf and hard of hearing and queer communities.
This production will involve Deaf and hearing signing actors from all over the United States. Live performances will begin in the summer of 2022 for Austin audiences. Jules Dameron of Hypernovas Productions will direct the live production, which will be filmed and edited to live stream for a wider audience on October 12, 2021 in honor of Matthew Shepard’s death.
The project includes the development of a full academic curriculum resource that is designed for Deaf and hard of hearing students, which will be made available to Deaf programs across the US.
Supporting partners for this production include Moises Kauffman & the Tectonic Theatre Project, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Michael Epstein Designs, Texas School for the Deaf, Statewide Outreach Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts.
Sponsoring partners currently include Ground Floor Theatre, Sorenson VRS, Communication by Hand, the Greater Austin Foundation of the Deaf, and DHH Services.
Plot: In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised, and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard, and he was the victim of this assault because he was gay. Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half, in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some people interviewed were directly connected to the case, while others were citizens of Laramie, and the breadth of the reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences in Laramie. THE LARAMIE PROJECT is a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.
Download press release PDF: LP Collaboration Press Release