Dr. Ben Dawkins Directs ‘Laramie Project’


Dr. Ben Dawkins, Theatre Director at Spartanburg High School makes his directorial debut in Proud Mary Theatre Company’s live production of The Laramie Project, the award-winning play by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, July 15-24.

This outdoor theatre production about the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming, is directed by Ben Dawkins and will be performed at the USC Upstate 12-acre Susan Jacobs Arboretum which has a 300-seat amphitheater, a meandering creek lined with stones and boulders, 12 separate garden areas/plant collections of foliage indigenous to the area, and rows of Nuttall Oak trees.

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!

The Laramie Project features Quinn Davis, Doug Egge, Samantha Jemmott, Laura Bunn, Audrey Waldrop, Robyn Cheezum, Schuyler Carson-Jackson, Najee Joyner, Jalen Gray, and Robert Penninger. USC Upstate alum Joanie Blackwell is stage manager.

This production is made possible by the generosity of USC Upstate, USC Upstate Theatre, Landrum Eclectics, the LGBT Fund of Spartanburg.

PARKING: Proud Mary Theatre will have plenty of directional signs but the Parking Lot is on the back side of the campus on Gramling Drive Near North Campus Boulevard.

Thursday – Saturday @ 7 pm
July 15-24, 2021
Susan Jacobs Arboretum – USC Upstate
Gramling Drive
Spartanburg, SC

Tickets $15-20 and available at proudmarytheatre.com.

This is a weather-permitting event so check our Facebook/Instagram/website and your email/text for the latest update.

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