The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

Yesenia Diaz, Editor-In-Chief

Arroyo’s Drama department is performing The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, the story about the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was an openly gay university student in Laramie, Wyoming retold by those who were impacted by Shepard’s death, on December 7th and 8th at 7 pm in the little theater.

Although they had not originally planned to perform The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, the drama department was initially going to perform The Laramie Project, which is a more timely narrative of what happened to Shepard, for the fall play in October.

Drama scripts are usually reviewed and approved before the school year starts by administration. The script for The Laramie Project was not submitted before the end of August.  Ms. Angelita Gonzales, Principal, and Dr. Laura Quintana, Assistant Principal of Student Activities, were worried that they would not have enough time to look over the script completely and to modify any scenes that had inappropriate material for a teenage audience, which led to the postponement of the play.

“Administration is concerned about how the school is perceived and what I was told that there were concerns that there was material that was not appropriate for a teenage audience. The one example that was cited was the fact that part of the play would take place in a bar and there was references of the bar,” says Mr. Daniel Ingram, Drama teacher.

During the reviewing stages of any prospective performance made by a school sponsored curriculum, such as band, choir or cheerleading, Arroyo’s administration team must receive a proposal from the teacher to approve the performance. After this step, Arroyo’s administrators must use board policies that can be found on the El Monte Union High School District website. Some examples of the policies that may be used by our administrators are 6142.6 BP, 6145.8 BP, 5145.2 BP, 5145.2 AR, and 5173 BP, which can be found using the link below.

“They [Administration Team] will review the entire script to ensure that the script is aligned to the district’s goals and to ensure that there is no content that would violate any board policy,” explains Dr. Edward Zuniga, Superintendent.

Once the administrators look over the content, a decision must be made whether to put the performance on hold to modify it, deny it, approve it or make a compromise with the teacher. In this case, Gonzales and Ingram made the decision to perform The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later instead of The Laramie Project.

The drama department wanted to perform the Laramie Project initially because the students wanted to perform a play that had a meaning behind it instead of their usually comedic performances.

“Well, students expressed last year that all of the plays that we have been picking are very light in material they have all been comedies and not tragedies or dramas really even when we did Murder takes the Stage it was kind of silly it wasn’t very serious,” said Ingram.

Drama students were disappointed that the play was postponed from October, “We spent so much time discussing about the topic and choosing whether or not to chose gun violence or discrimination,” said Alma Talamantes, 11.

Even after the postponement of their original play, the drama department are excited to perform The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later and hope that others come to their performance tonight and tomorrow at 7 pm in the Little Theater. Tickets are being sold for $5 pre-sale and $7 at the door.