Ben Dawkins to Helm ‘The Laramie Project’

THE LARAMIE PROJECT (20th Anniversary Production)
By Moisés Kaufman & Tectonic Theater Project
October 9-18, 2020

On October 6, 1998 in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a fence post, severely beaten, robbed, , tortured and left, alone, to die. His body — battered, bloody, barely clinging to life — was discovered eighteen hours later. He was rushed to the hospital and put on life support. He died five days later. The reason for this brutal crime? Matthew Shepard was gay.

The hate crime attracted vast attention worldwide, bringing sexual discrimination and violence to the forefront of public discourse. Based on interviews, journal entries, and found texts, The Laramie Project was born. Starring 8 actors in some 60 roles, The Laramie Project is hailed as one of the most captivating and encompassing pieces of contemporary theatre. The play shocks, challenges, and moves all who watch it as it reveals the lowest depths of hatred and greatest heights of compassion that lies within all human beings in any seemingly average community.

BEN DAWKINS (Director), singer/actor/director living in Spartanburg, is making his Upstate directorial debut!  He graduated in 2014 with his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Georgia.  Since moving to Spartanburg, he has performed with the Spartanburg Little Theatre, Proud Mary Theatre, Gaffney Little Theatre, Limestone College Theatre, Centre Stage.  As a director, he has worked with the Heritage High Patriot Players, Sandersville Community Theatre, Athena Grand Opera, and the UGA Opera Theatre.  Directing highlights include:  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Our Town, Trouble in Tahiti, and The Old Maid and the Thief.  Local performance highlights include: BOY (Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), Spamalot (Historian, Minstrel, Not-dead-Fred, French Taunter, and Prince Herbert), and Avenue Q (Nickie/Trekki Monster).  Regional highlights include leading roles in My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and several roles as a repertory artist for the International Festival of the Aegean in Ermoupolis, Greece.  Special thanks to his wife Blair for her constant support and to Proud Mary for the opportunity to help tell this important and timely story!

Meet the Cast of BOY: Valerie Saporito

Valerie Saporito plays girlfriend Jenny in Proud Mary Theatre Company’s production of BOY August 9-18.

Valerie is beyond excited to be making her Upstate acting debut. She was last seen onstage as Ofelia in Nilo Cruz’s Anna In the Tropics at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Since moving to Greenville, Valerie has had the great fortune to have worked at Centre Stage in various capacities: Noises Off!, Doubt (Stage Manager); Dreamgirls (Assistant Stage Manager); Mamma Mia (Spotlight Operator). Big thank you to Robert and Sandy for the opportunity to participate in this amazing show. And as always, thank you to Josh and Rocket the Dog for holding down the fort.

BOY in Spartanburg
Friday-Saturday, August 9-10 @ 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 11 @ 3 p.m.
West Main Artists Co-Operative, 578 West Main St.

BOY in Greenville
Tuesday-Wednesday,
August 13-14 @ 8 p.m.
Coffee Underground, 1 E. Coffee St.

BOY in Anderson
Friday-Saturday, August 16-17 @ 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 18 @ 3 p.m.
The Market Theatre Company, 110 Federal St.

Tickets are $12 Students, $15 General. More info at http://www.proudmarytheatre.com/tickets.

Meet the Cast of BOY: Ben Dawkins

BEN DAWKINS plays the doctor, Wendell, in Proud Mary Theatre Company’s production of BOY by Anna Ziegler August 9-18.

Ben, a singer/actor living in Spartanburg, is making his Proud Mary Theatre debut!  He graduated in 2014 with his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Georgia. 

Since moving to Spartanburg, he has performed with the Spartanburg Little Theatre, Gaffney Little Theatre, and Limestone College Theatre.  Local performance highlights include: Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), Spamalot (Historian, Minstrel, Not-dead-Fred, French Taunter, and Prince Herbert), and Avenue Q (Nickie/Trekki Monster).  

Regional highlights include leading roles in My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and several roles as a repertory artist for the International Festival of the Aegean in Ermoupolis, Greece.  Special thanks to his wife Blair for her constant support.

BOY in Spartanburg
Friday-Saturday, August 9-10 @ 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 11 @ 3 p.m.
West Main Artists Co-Operative, 578 West Main St.

BOY in Greenville
Tuesday-Wednesday,
August 13-14 @ 8 p.m.
Coffee Underground, 1 E. Coffee St.

BOY in Anderson
Friday-Saturday, August 16-17 @ 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 18 @ 3 p.m.
The Market Theatre Company, 110 Federal St.

Tickets are $12 Students, $15 General. More info at http://www.proudmarytheatre.com/tickets.