Drama students at Natrona County High School have been hard at work rehearsing for "The Laramie Project," which opens a weekend run Thursday night at The John F. Welsh Auditorium.

“I didn’t want my students to leave my program and go into a theater program out of state - or have people who came from outside of the state into theater programs in Wyoming - say, ‘Oh, you’re from Wyoming! I did ‘The Laramie Project!’' and have my kids not know what that is,” Natrona County High School drama teacher Zach Schneider said.

Schneider said the rehearsal experience has been different for his students.

“People think this play is a dramatization of the crime, when, in reality, it’s almost a conversation between the audience and the actor,” Schneider said. “So, getting the kids to do this unique theater style has been really interesting.”

The play starts at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $5. Schneider said all proceeds will benefit the school's drama department.

The play spotlights the aftermath of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was murdered in 1998. Shepard attended NCHS from 1992 to 1993.

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