“I think this story is still relevant, as there seems to be an implied permission to hate these days, (meaning) if you’re different from me, I have the right to hate you,” added Rick Flynn, a standout last season in Dayton Theatre Guild’s productions of “The Columnist” and “Night Watch.” “Matthew’s story reminds us that good can come from evil.”
Flynn also admits to embracing the challenge of playing Fred Phelps, the controversial pastor of Westboro Baptist Church who picketed Shepard’s funeral with his congregants.
“The only nugget I could hold onto in building the character is (grasping) that (Phelps) feels it’s his duty to call out sin where he sees it,” Flynn said. “He’s passionate about his beliefs and doesn’t understand why others don’t see it that way. ‘Laramie Project’ is still such an important story that I felt like I had to be a part of telling it again.”
The cast includes Janelle Chamness, Naman Clark, Matthew Clifton, Samantha Creech, Jess Evans-Skudlarek, Carrie Fahnestock, Jesse Magill, TJ Montgomery, Brennan Paulin, Hayley Penchoff, Michael Schumacher, Jen Skudlarek, RJ Steck, Angie Thacker, and Ella Wylie.
“We as a society have yet to realize our mistakes that history is teaching us,” said Montgomery, whose roles include University of Wyoming theater student Jedadiah Schultz. “This show proves the importance of standing together against hate.”
WANT TO GO?
What: "The Laramie Project"
Where: Harmony Creek Church, 5280 Bigger Road, Kettering
When: Feb. 10-12; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Next Sunday
Cost: $12 reserved; $15 at the door; $10 seniors and students
Tickets: Call (937) 434-3941 or visit harmonycreekchurch.org