Neil Patrick Harris, Mary Louise Parker Sign On For ‘Laramie Project’ Benefit

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Neil Patrick Harris and Mary Louise Parker will take part in Laramie: A Legacy, a one-night benefit reading in September of The Laramie Project, set to honor Matthew Shepard on the 20th anniversary of his murder.

Presented by Tectonic Theater Project, Laramie: A Legacy is scheduled for Monday, September 24, at the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College in Manhattan.

Also confirmed for the event is Tony Award-winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots). Harris, Parker and Porter will join the original company of The Laramie Project – Stephen Belber, Amanda Gronich, Mercedes Herrero, Andy Paris, Greg Pierotti, Barbara Pitts McAdams and Kelli Simpkins – with Tectonic Theater Project founder and Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman directing.

Additional cast members will be announced at a later date.

In advance of the reading, The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Tectonic Theater Project are filming a PSA video featuring Parker, Porter, Kaufman, Michael Urie, Harvey Fierstein, Zachary Quinto, Annaleigh Ashford, Bridget Moynahan, and Raul Castillo, along with Matthew Shepard’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard. The video, directed by Sue Kramer, will highlight the work of Tectonic Theater Project and The Matthew Shepard Foundation to erase hate, and will be released in the weeks leading up to Laramie: A Legacy.

The reading comes just before the 20 year mark of the October 12, 1998, murder of the 21-year-old Shepard, a hate crime that drew international attention to violence against the LGBTQ community. In the weeks that followed his death, the Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded and the Tectonic Theater Project began conducting the interviews that would form the basis of the docu-play The Laramie Project. Since then, The Laramie Project has become one of the most performed contemporary plays in the world.

Proceeds from Laramie: A Legacy will benefit both the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Tectonic Theater Project. Among the Tectonic’s initiatives is the Moment Work Institute, which trains more than 1,000 students and emerging artists every year in company’s technique.

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