CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD
a fusion oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson
In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, when Matt passed away, the world was watching. Approaching the eve of the 20th anniversary, Craig Hella Johnson has responded with his first concert-length work, Considering Matthew Shepard .
This three-part fusion oratorio speaks with a fresh and bold voice, incorporating a variety of musical styles seamlessly woven into a unified whole. Johnson sets a wide range of poetic and soulful texts by poets including Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, and Rumi. Passages from Matt’s personal journal, interviews and writings from his parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, newspaper reports and additional texts by Johnson and Browne are poignantly appointed throughout the work. Below is a short video from Craig Hella Johnson on what you will hear during the performance.
Advanced ticket reservations required, and while suggested donation is $20.00 per ticket, please donate whatever you are comfortable with. Please bring a printed copy of your reservation or be ready to show it on your phone. As seating is limited, if you make a reservation and are unable to attend, kindly cancel your reservation in advance to allow others the opportunity.
Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the show.
Friday, August 12 - 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 13 - 7:30 pm
at Mesa Community College
Performing Arts Center in Mesa, AZ
Sunday, August 14 - 3:00 pm
at The Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona, AZ