CCM alumnus and symposium moderator Dr. Rick Coons.

CCM alumnus and symposium moderator Dr. Rick Coons.

Later this fall, CCM’s Studio Series proudly presents The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. As a lead-in to this powerful production, CCM’s Department of Drama will also host a unique play reading series and symposium from Oct. 15–19, exploring other cultural touchstones of the American gay canon of dramatic literature. These events are intended for mature audiences.

Directed by drama department chair Richard E. HessThe Laramie Project brings to life on stage the facts surrounding the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student whose brutal murder shocked the country in 1998. Kaufman and members of his theatre company traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, to conduct 200 interviews with the residents of the town. The result is a powerful dramatization of the murder, investigation and subsequent convictions – a sobering look into how hate is born and nurtured in the back streets of a friendly American town. The Laramie Project runs Nov. 29–Dec. 1 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Performance times are:

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30
  • 2 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1

From Oct. 15–18, CCM will also present a week-long play reading series celebrating other hallmarks of gay-themed dramatic literature. This series will close with a special symposium on Oct. 19 entitled “Storytellers, History Makers and Revolutionaries: The LGBT Story.” This symposium will be moderated by UC alumnus Dr. Rick Coons, who completed his BFA in Drama in 1999. When CCM presented the regional premiere of Angels in America in 1998 and 1999, Coons played Prior Walter in both parts of the production.

The play reading series will feature:

  • Oct. 15: The Normal Heart (1985) by Larry Kramer
  • Oct. 16: Angels in America, Pt. 1: Millennium Approaches (1993) by Tony Kushner
  • Oct. 17: Angels in America, Pt. 2: Perestroika (1993) by Tony Kushner
  • Oct. 18: Sons of the Prophet (2011) by Stephen Karam

Each reading begins at 7 p.m. in room 4755 of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts and is free and open to the public.

“Storytellers, History Makers and Revolutionaries: The LGBT Story” will be presented in Patricia Corbett Theater at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.

About Rick Coons
Dr. Rick Coons received his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles with an emphasis in LGBT psychology. From there, he continued in the clinical psychology program at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles and received his doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in multicultural and community psychology. His doctoral project examined the relationship between heterosexism as a form of sexualized abuse on a cultural level and the impact it has on gay male sexual behavior.

Dr. Coons has worked as a therapist in several community health centers including AIDS Project Los Angeles, AIDS Service Center, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, South Central Training Consortium, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Division of Adolescent Medicine-High Risk Youth Program and Clearview Addiction Treatment Programs providing individual, couples and group psychotherapy.

Admission to The Laramie Project is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at 12 noon on Monday, Nov. 26 – visit the CCM Box office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order. This production contains mature subject matter.

All installments of the Oct. 15–19 play reading series and symposium are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman & Margaret Straub

Sponsored by the CCM Harmony Fund: Challenging Hate and Prejudice through Performing Arts

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