Maltz Jupiter Theatre


A free ‘summer intensive’ mentorship program offers one-on-one guidance
to produce an award-winning drama about the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Shepard

March 6, 2012 (Jupiter) – The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is offering local high school students the chance to produce a significant, compelling drama on stage about the aftermath of a well-known hate crime.

Under the guidance of industry professionals at Florida’s largest award-winning professional regional theatre, the Theatre is inviting high school students to apply to be part of a free summer mentorship program to produce the drama The Laramie Project on the Theatre’s professional stage. The show will take place Saturday, Sept. 8.

The Laramie Project is about the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998. Interviews with local citizens and officials unveil the hate crime and its aftermath. The play explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion in which we are capable.

“The rates of teen suicide, particularly in the gay and lesbian population, are at crisis level – and if we don’t start talking about it and supporting each other, that’s not going to change,” said the Theatre’s director of education, Julie Rowe, who is heading up the project. “What better place than the theater to start?”

Known as the Youth Artists’ Chair and part of the Theatre’s Emerging Artist Series, the project aligns high school students with individual Theatre staff members for one-on-one mentoring and guidance during the creation process of the show.

“Students will receive a high level of intensive, one-on-one training over the summer at no cost,” Rowe said. “It’s rare to be receiving this level of education at a young age, and these students have the opportunity to work with high-caliber professionals on a compelling story that deals with important issues. To me, that’s an awesome summer.”

Applicants for the project will be interviewed and chosen by a committee. Winning students will then take on specific roles that include producer, director, set designer, lighting designer, costume designer and more, and will lead six weeks of rehearsals before mounting the show on stage.

“This project is an integral part of our Theatre’s community outreach and mission statement, which is to entertain, educate and inspire our community,” said the Theatre’s artistic director, Andrew Kato. “The truth of the production is also equally important, because it teaches our young people to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s unpopular. They must become advocates for the moral compass of our society.”

The deadline to apply for the project is March 15, with interviews that will take place through March 31. Submission packets are available by visiting

Those chosen for the role of director and producer will also cast the show’s young performers. With casting open for local students ages 13-18, open auditions for the show will be held Saturday, April 14 during the Theatre’s annual First Step to Stardom audition day (a day which also includes opportunities to audition for two other shows: Through The Looking Glass and The Music Man).

Students interested in auditioning for The Laramie Project should check in between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and come prepared with a one-minute monologue. Note that the show contains adult subject matter and language. For additional audition information, visit

About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
In only nine seasons, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida’s preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state’s largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws over 70,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 7,000 and has world-class classroom facilities in support of its Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of youth and adults. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and has earned numerous Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s highest honor for artistic excellence. For more information about the Theatre’s upcoming shows and Conservatory, visit or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.

Media Contact:
Linnea Brown (561) 972-6132
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