The Laramie Project at University School of Nashville — University School of Nashville — AAPEX

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Laramie Project at University School of Nashville

Ask not what you think of the play -
ask what the play thinks of you.

From the folks who brought us the Nashville Premiere of BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (and they said it wouldn't play in Nashville!) - get
ready for another compelling theatrical experience, as the Student Theatre Guild of The University School of Nashville prepares to confront us with their interpretation of THE LARAMIE PROJECT.

If you're not familiar with the play, it's worth a Google.

15 young actors will portray 60 different characters under the direction of USN senior Hannah Baker.

It is no surprise that these young artists are ready to take on this intense retelling of the murder of Matthew Sheppard and it's backlash on the town of Laramie, Wyoming, given that they are studying under such brilliant mentors as Catherine Coke and Jim Manning. But the choice of this script was strictly the students', who felt that the play was timely in light of all the attention that is given to bullying, teen suicide and gay marriages at this moment in our culture's history.

Recent productions of BBAJ and CABARET were the work of the theatre department, but this time out the producers are those students who make up the Student Theatre Guild, which is technically one of the school's clubs and entirely run by students. Hannah Baker, who directs LARAMIE, is the guild president and Sam Douglas, who really rocked last year as Andrew Jackson, is the vice president. Both are seniors.

The guild meets every Wednesday, either to work on their own productions or to discuss the theatre scene in Nashville and - most highly admirable - they support the theatrical productions at other area high schools, such as Harpeth Hall and Montgomery Bell. I would strongly suggest that local producers - especially filmmakers - join them on some of these theatre trips to check out the incredible teen talent that is being nurtured in Nashville's institutions of learning, including both our fine high school and university programs which are preparing the next generation of actors and associated talents for the future of the Acting Industries in our country.

The Student Theatre Guild also produces annually both a showcase and a scene night. Out of 400 students, 60 participated in the most recent scene night as actors, and another 10 as directors. That reflects a lot of interest in stage work. Training at USN also includes playwrighting and technical studies, and offers independent studies based on individual interests.

Performances @ $5.00 a ticket are Thursday, March 29 at 5:00 pm then at 7:00 pm on that Friday and Saturday. The address is 2000 Edgehill Avenue at the corner of 21st Ave. South and parking is in the 19th Ave. lot.

A closing observation: there is no such thing as a "student actor" - there are only actors who are studying, and it has been my experience with actors, real actors, that they are ALWAYS studying.

To learn more about this great school, please click the post's title.

Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre!

Jaz Dorsey
The Nashville Dramaturgy Project

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