Casey Pratt, a 2001 graduate of Leavitt Area High School and a senior theater major at the University of Southern Maine, is performing in USM’s production of “The Laramie Project” at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Rhode Island in January.

The festival is a year-round program serving eight regions of the United States. Six productions were selected from the New England entries to perform at the regional level in Rhode Island. The USM production has a cast of eight actors playing more than 60 characters. The Moises Kaufman play directed by Wil Kilroy from USM deals with life in the small town of Laramie, Wyo., after the brutal slaying of Mathew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming.

Pratt began her stage training with 15 years of dance instruction, studying tap, jazz and ballet at Mary Jane’s School of Dance in Greene. Her theater credits include roles in USM productions “Cabaret,” “Company,” “Bat Boy: The Musical” and “Haiku,” and the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in April, as well as a Portland Players production of “Chicago.” She also has had the opportunity to work with Ed Harris and Helen Hunt during the filming of the movie “Empire Falls,” and with Blair Underwood and James Russo in “Straight Out of Compton 2.”

Following graduation in May, Pratt hopes to study in England before moving to New York or California.

USM will present “The Laramie Project” as a fund-raiser at USM’s Russell Hall on the Gorham campus at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 and 22. Tickets are $10. To reserve tickets or for more information, people can call the box office at 780-5151.

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