Expressing Ideas of Love, Loss, Grief, Acceptance, and Tolerance


​​​​​​​On Friday 25 March, the Laramie Project, performed by the Year 11 theatre ensemble, opened in the QACI theatre to standing ovations. The production was visually impressive and bold, and investigated how ideas of love, loss, grief, acceptance, and tolerance operated during a time of tension and hatred, some particularly important themes within our current atmosphere.

Directed by QACI Theatre Teachers' Mr Brad Jennings and Ms Katie Fletcher, the play tackles the heavy subject of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay university student in 1998 Laramie, Wyoming, targeted for his sexuality. Over the course of the production, we follow the stories of various characters caught up in the tragedy of the hate crime, and explore how dividing attitudes around homophobia, compassion, tolerance, and religion presented themselves during the time.

Verbatim theatre, the genre of theatre that encompasses the Laramie Project, pieces together the real words of witnesses and community members from interviews to form impactful performances. This process allowed for students to completely embody a character's opinions, perspectives, and experiences within the story. Incorporating some of Bertolt Brecht's theatrical devices similarly enabled the ensemble to impressively create theatre that effectively confronts and comments on societal issues that are still present in our world today.

The production has been a mammoth effort from all those involved; Year 11 Music students were essential in creating an engaging and expressive soundscape to build atmosphere, and the use of projection and lighting was supported by the Year 11 Film classes. Collaboration has particularly enhanced the quality and calibre of the production and allowed for audiences to immerse themselves within such a necessary production that resonated with so many within the QACI Community.

The Year 11 Theatre ensemble worked within foundations of trust and integrity to communicate the play's complex themes, exploring different perspectives, and presenting such topics with a maturity and sensitivity. The impacts of COVID-19 heavily impacted the production and meant that all students had to be open-minded and flexible throughout the rehearsal period; the resilience of the community in dealing with such hardships meant that everyone's contributions and effort shone even brighter on the stage. Such dynamic and energised performances after the challenges faced were extremely impressive, and the QACI Community should be proud of the efforts of all involved in the production.​

Congratulations to everyone that contributed towards creating such a resonant and impactful night of theatre.

...article written by Anna Ryley, Year 12​

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Last reviewed 29 March 2022
Last updated 29 March 2022