Showtime goes online as Kentridge High Drama Club gets creative

Cast members in ‘The Laramie Project’ brought in one at a time to record due to COVID-19

Jennifer Grajewski decided the show must go on for the Kentridge High School Drama Club despite the COVID-19 restrictions that halted any live stage performances in front of a audience.

Like so many other things in 2020, the show has gone virtual.

Because art cannot be created in “normal ways,” Grajewski, the Kentridge drama teacher, said she was determined to do two things.

“Create art with my students and model that you can do great things even in adverse situations,” Grajewski said in an email. “Collaboration, creativity and compassion can help you get there.”

So from Oct. 15-17 people will be able to go online to watch Kentridge’s production of, “The Laramie Project.” Virtual tickets are just $5 and can be purchased at showtix4u.com/event-details/40073. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Oct. 15-17 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 17.

“The Laramie Project” is the true story of the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, told through interviews done with the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, Grajewski said. Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was gay and this started a huge movement in America to protect LBGTQ!A+ individuals.

“It did not happen right away but about a year after Matthew’s murder laws in states and in our country started to change,” Grajewski said. “People began to understand the magnitude of hate that there was about who individuals choose to love.”

Grajewski saw similarities with what is happening with protest marches in 2020.

“We are obviously still working on this, but I saw a strong parallel with George Floyd and racial equity and justice issues being protested right now,” Grajewski said. “So, I decided to find a way to do Laramie.”

Let the challenges begin.

“I did all rehearsing virtually using (Microsoft) Teams and Zoom…..for hours and hours,” said Grajewski, director of the play. “Then we brought in each cast member (there are 45) one at a time, took temperatures, wore masks and socially distanced ourselves to record each person.”

Kentridge students, staff and community members were used to cast the show.

Then Grajewski invited Emilio Miguel Torres, a Kentridge graduate and New York University film student who is home due to COVID-19, to edit the project. He also recorded it.

“It is the play, but done in a very different way,” Grajewski said.

Torres jumped at the opportunity for his first feature-length project, a virtual cinematic performance of the school’s fall play.

“Working on this has been so fulfilling and fun,” Torres said on Facebook. “Jennifer Grajewski approached me about making this months ago, and it has been with creative problem solving and intense planning that our team has been able to will this thing to happen. Covid-conscious film shoots at the theater and virtual editing techniques are all part of this.”

Proceeds from the tickets will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation to help LGBTQIA+ teens in the community. The play is rated PG-13 due to language and mature subject matter.

“We have left all the violence in it, because it is a big part of telling the story,” Grajewski said.

• View the trailer at:


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Kentridge High School senior Ally Castagna is one of the 45 cast members from the school and community in ‘The Laramie Project.’ COURTESY PHOTO, Kentridge High

Kentridge High School senior Ally Castagna is one of the 45 cast members from the school and community in ‘The Laramie Project.’ COURTESY PHOTO, Kentridge High

More in Life

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

University of Montana senior Haley VonGoedert is preparing for a student teaching experience in the remote fishing village of Newhalen, Alaska. VonGoedert paired an elementary education major with wilderness and civilization studies. COURTESY PHOTO, University of Montana
Into the Wild: Covington woman to depart for remote Alaskan teaching experience

University of Montana student graduated from Kent-Meridian High

Eleanor Knight, 14, and her younger brother, Ivan, then, 9, horse around while waiting to surf a wave on the Class III Wenatchee River. Courtesy photo.
Kayaking kid conquers raging rapids

“Between Two Swims” captures family’s brave adventures on film.

Volunteers dropped off hundreds of toys Dec. 18 at Kent Lutheran Church from the annual Kent firefighters Toys of Joy drive to be distributed to children through the Kent Food Bank. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound Fire
Toys for Joy drive in Kent to provide 500 children with gifts

Community donated more than $17,000 to buy toys

Two children check out the Candy Cane Lane drive-thru event that was open Saturday, Dec. 12, at Hogan Park and outside the Kent Valley Ice Centre. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent
Candy Cane Lane drive-thru event a hit in Kent

Children ask in Santa letters for things to be easier for their families during COVID-19

Madison Woolery is one of three Kentridge High School students who earned top honors during the Jackson State University music department’s virtual Solo and Ensemble Contest. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Kentridge High students earn music honors at virtual national competition

Three are part of Key to Change string studio program

Blind Boys of Alabama livestream concert set for Dec. 23

City of Kent partners with group for holiday event