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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Spiteful words fly in NW play

The+cast+rehearses+a+press+conference+scene+for+The+Laramie+Project%2C+opening+on+NW+Campus+Nov.+30.+The+production+centers+on+a+gay+college+student+who+is+beaten+and+tied+to+a+fence+post+in+Wyoming.%0A%0APhotos+by+Kaylee+Jensen%2FThe+Collegian
The cast rehearses a press conference scene for The Laramie Project, opening on NW Campus Nov. 30. The production centers on a gay college student who is beaten and tied to a fence post in Wyoming. Photos by Kaylee Jensen/The Collegian

By Jamil Oakford/ editor-in-chief

The cast rehearses a press conference scene for The Laramie Project, opening on NW Campus Nov. 30. The production centers on a gay college student who is beaten and tied to a fence post in Wyoming. Photos by Kaylee Jensen/The Collegian
The cast rehearses a press conference scene for The Laramie Project, opening on NW Campus Nov. 30. The production centers on a gay college student who is beaten and tied to a fence post in Wyoming.
Photos by Kaylee Jensen/The Collegian

Small, insignificant details become major roadblocks in a small Wyoming community in Theatre Northwest’s newest production, The Laramie Project.

Based on a true story, a gay youth who was beaten and tied to a fence post provides the setting for the play. It’s been a heavy topic for the whole cast.

“This play brings a lot of relevance to something people may not remember,” cast member Alexandra Flurry said.

“I may have heard about it when I was really little, but I don’t remember much of it. Learning about this has been real impactful.”

Many of them found the material challenging on different levels.

NW student Tamiri Andrews found the spite-filled words used in dialogue hard to say aloud.

“We’re saying things that we’d never say in everyday life,” she said. “It’s just hard to hear it.”

Andrews’ fellow castmate William Bull finds the weight of the play personally emotional.

Cat Whitehead shouts and preaches as a Baptist minister. This character is one of many that Whitehead will portray.
Cat Whitehead shouts and preaches as a Baptist minister. This character is one of many that Whitehead will portray.

“It’s challenging not to break down and cry every five minutes,” he said.

NW student Nicole Shephard said that while the dialogue was difficult, she had to accept it.

“These are real people,” she said. “We may not like what they say, but they’re real people. These are raw emotions.”

And not deviating from those words, no matter how hard they are to say aloud is important to the integrity of the play, Flurry said.

“This is literally what they said, and if we don’t say it exactly as they said it, it wouldn’t be true,” she said.

And just the accent, grammar and intonation of the characters in the play has Katy de Groh working hard to capture that voice.

SE student Danny Vanegas rehearses his role of Arty at a rehearsal for the fall production of Lost in Yonkers. Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
SE student Danny Vanegas rehearses his role of Arty at a rehearsal for the fall production of Lost in Yonkers.
Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

“The realism of this play is incredible,” she said.

Cast member Cat Whitehead said that the play isn’t completely covered in sadness and heaviness.

“We get to bring to attention the LGBT community and its struggles, but there is some comedy in the play too,” he said.

The cast hopes everyone who attends can grab important lessons that each character will teach.

“One of my characters, Jedadiah says something like ‘How could I let that stuff think that you’re any different from me?’” Bull said.

Shephard hopes this play only emphasizes the importance of treating people with care.

“We’re called to love each other,” she said. “We have to coexist. You can go on Facebook and see all the hate out there. We have to be better than that.”

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