Non-profit theatre company, Trust Theatre Ensemble, will premiere their stage adaptation of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard at Theatre Wit in Chicago this October. Written by LeslÃ©a Newman, who was the keynote speaker for Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming in 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was killed, October Mourning is a poetic exploration of this tragic hate crime told in the voices of the silent witnesses to the crime, including the fence Matt was tied to, the truck in which he was kidnapped, and a deer that kept him company during the night. The stage adaptation was written by Lori Thompson, Artistic Director of Trust Theatre Ensemble. The show will run October 9-12th at Theatre Wit in Chicago, IL. The official dates and times are:
October 9th at 7:30 PM
October 10th at 7:30 PM
October 11th at 7:30 PM
October 12th at 3:00 PM
Copies of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard will be available for purchase at all performances. Following the October 10th performance, there will be a talkback led by LeslÃ©a Newman as well as a booksigning.
About Trust Theatre Ensemble
Trust Theatre Ensemble is dedicated to encompassing an audience of all ages while producing expressive, truthful, thought-provoking theatre that inspires a realization of self, while creating a change of consciousness on issues of humanity, integrity, tolerance, and trust.
About Lori Thompson
Lori Thompson is the Artistic Director of Trust Theatre Ensemble and a theatre teacher in Fenton, Michigan. She believes theatre is an effective vehicle for bringing awareness of social issues to students and educators of all ages. Lori's original play, The Bullycide Project, is based on the book Bullycide in America, which was compiled by Brenda High and written by mothers who have lost a child to suicide due to bullying. Together with the actors of Trust Theatre Ensemble, Lori has brought her passion for bringing social issue awareness and theatre together through performances throughout the United States and Canada.
About Matthew Shepard
Matthew Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming on the night of October 6, 1998, and died six days later at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, from severe head injuries. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. In October 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and on October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the legislation into law. Following her son's murder, Matthew's mother Judy Shepard became a prominent LGBT rights activist and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
About LeslÃ©a Newman
LeslÃ©a Newman is the author of 65 books including the children's classic, Heather Has Two Mommies; the short story collection, A Letter to Harvey Milk; the poetry collection, Still Life with Buddy; and the picture books, The Best Cat in the World, A Fire Engine for Ruthie, and The Boy Who Cried Fabulous. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. From 2008-2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently, she is a faculty member of Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program.