Beginning Friday, the Peninsula High School drama department will stage a documentary-style production of the story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay University of Wyoming college student who was brutally murdered in 1998.

Five weeks after his murder, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the New York-based Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, where they conducted more than 200 interviews with the town’s citizens over two years, according to a press release. From these interviews, The Laramie Project was created — a moving theatrical experience set in and around Laramie, Wyoming, in the aftermath of Shepard’s murder.

“'The Laramie Project' is one of the most important pieces of theatre written in the 21st century,” said Seth Cohen, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School’s drama director, in the release. “The LGBTQ community is today’s most marginalized minority. Their oppression is universal. It transcends time and geography, race, religion and culture. This play champions the concept of acceptance and community — striving to create a better world through education and openness. A message that too many people refuse to hear.”

Show times are Dec. 2, Dec. 3, Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 3 and 10 at 2 p.m.; and Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m.

The Peninsula High School Performing Arts Center is located at 27118 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. To Purchase tickets, email pendramatickets@cox.net or visit peninsuladrama.com. Please note that due to graphic language and mature content, this play is not appropriate for children.

For more information about the Peninsula High School drama department and upcoming shows, visit sites.google.com/site/penhidrama/home.

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