Beckman’s Theater Students Host a Spirit Week for “The Laramie Project”
To promote its production of the play “The Laramie Project,” Beckman’s theater program hosted a school-wide spirit week.
November 19, 2019
During the week of Tuesday, Nov. 12, to Friday, Nov. 15, Beckman’s theater program hosted a spirit week to promote their stage play, “The Laramie Project.”
“The Laramie Project” tells the story of a homosexual boy, Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, by two men in a hate crime targeting his sexual orientation. To bring more awareness to the issue of discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community, Beckman’s theater students performed “The Laramie Project.”
Theater students and seniors Julia Ashpes and Axel Evensen planned the spirit week to promote their play.
“We decided to do a spirit week because we wanted to connect theater with the rest of the school,” Ashpes explained. “We wanted to create a unified school community filled with love, tolerance and positivity.” Ashpes thought that since the show’s main themes were about community, a spirit week was perfect as a publicity tool for the show.
Students dressed in clothing according to the various themes of the spirit week, and the theater students also organized different lunch activities for students to participate in. Ashpes created the ideas for the lunch activities, and Evensen planned the themes for dress-ups.
On Tuesday, the theme was “Show Your Colors,” and students wore rainbow to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Students were seen wearing rainbow clothing or draping rainbow flags around their shoulders. The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club also hosted a meeting during lunch to speak about different LGBTQ+ issues.
It was “Culture Shock Day” on Wednesday, where students wore cultural items such as traditional clothing or hats from their culture to promote diversity. Speakers Toni Redman and John Hill spoke more about diversity in the gym during lunch.
Thursday was “YOUnity” day, and students wore anything that was significant to them to celebrate individualism and promote “you-nity.” Theater students also performed a scene of “The Laramie Project” on the outside stage in front of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) during lunch.
On Friday, the theme was “Patriot Pride,” and Patriots wore Beckman gear to show their school spirit. During lunch, students gathered to watch the movie version of “The Laramie Project” in the Room 313, the theater room.
Many of Beckman’s theater students were excited to promote their play that they worked long hours on and to participate in the spirit week.
“I think Spirit Week has been a great way for people to express themselves and for promoting ‘The Laramie Project.’” said theater student and senior Ryan Puterbaugh. “You can tell that the people who participate are really excited to show each day’s theme, and I think it’s an idea we can expand on for future shows.”
Theater student and freshman Jenna Josserand agreed. “I think that it was a clever way to gain publicity for the show,” Josserand said. “When students participate, they are not only spreading the word about the show, but expressing themselves.” Josserand believed that Spirit Week was a great way to have students feel like they are a part of something along with their peers.
Beckman’s theater program performed “The Laramie Project” on Nov. 14, 15 and 16. Spirit Week was a way to promote the theater’s program’s show, but it was also a way for Beckman students to express themselves and embrace their individuality.