LARAMIE – It’s an event presented with Laramie theatrical firsts: The first partnership between the Laramie Public Arts Coalition and Relative Theatrics, and the first use of the Laramie Skate Park as a venue for a public performance.

Laramie Public Art Coalition and Relative Theatrics will present the Skate Park Stage at Labonte Park from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. The event will feature theatrical readings from three different plays and will include the unveiling of Dan Toro's mural on the File Folder free wall.

“It’s a great merging of all sorts of community organizations – LPAC, the City, Relative Theatrics, and the Friends of the Laramie Skate Park – and to help revitalize this space, and push this idea that skateboarding is a sport that encourages continued play and exploration of the world,” said Anne Mason, the producing artistic director of Relative Theatrics.

“That’s the same as what theater is doing. Continued play, exploration of the world. It seemed like a perfect merging of missions and visions, and utilizing this space in a creative and different way that brings theater as an art form outside of an enclosed venue and makes it accessible for everybody.”

Mason said the theatrical content spans celebrated classics to reimagined epics, along with a contemporary take on cultural history, performed and directed by Lauren Asher, Jared Mohr-Leiva, Anne Mason, and Andrew Thornton. The team will perform excerpts from Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; excerpts from An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, a modern-day retelling of Homer's classic poem; and a dramatic reading of the Heather Beasley’s new play, Bone Records, in its entirety.

Michelle Visser, director of the LPAC, said although the coalition has been around for four years, this year is the first time that the group had the agreement in place with the City of Laramie Parks and Recreation Dept. to provide them with funding to “go forth and create public art for the people of Laramie.”

“That’s where Relative Theatrics comes in. Anne Mason knew from her stakeholders that theater outdoors was a way in which her community wanted to see theater. We had the funds and resources to partner with her, and doing it in the Skate Park was where Anne came in with the concept of using the great asset in our park, and that partners perfectly with the Parks and Recreation mission of providing us with the resources to bring art to where the people are, that being in the park, and the Skate Park being a unique asset of a park to do that,” Visser said.

“The idea that theater as an art form is a communal art form – it cannot happen without the people there to engage with the work, together with one another. Something that Relative Theatrics focuses on is to present plays that spark dialogue, that get conversation among a group of people, those that engage with the play . . . where the audience engage with one another and the performers in a way that informs everyone’s interpretation of the piece, and the way that they digest it, in a way that thought and questions and conversations that come out of the experience, impact their life going forward,” Mason said.

Additionally, audiences can enjoy a dramatic reading of Heather Beasley’s new play, Bone Records, in its entirety. The story occurs in Communist Leningrad, where three childhood friends form an unlikely alliance to bootleg American records. As Soviet leadership transitions from Stalin to Khrushchev, new hopes arise that cultural censorship may end at last. But can these three outsmart the secret police, outrun the Russian Mafia, and keep from betraying each other until the transformation comes? A tale of smuggled music, stolen moments, and underground rock and roll during the Cold War.

LaramieLive.com photos/Tom Kocal

An Iliad provided inspiration for a new mural by Dan Toro, a Wyoming based artist with a passion for outside mural artwork and the influence that each one can have in its right setting. His painting will appear on the File Folder free wall. This free wall, just north of the Skate Park, has been in place since 2004 and is available for anyone to try their hand at mural art. Dan’s work will reactivate the space as a focal point for art outside of the downtown area.

LPAC is an independent, non-profit coalition that provides the greater Laramie community with a structure and inclusive processes to create successful public art projects that reflect the community’s identities and values and contribute to Laramie and Albany County's vitality.

The Laramie Public Art Coalition's mission is to enhance the unique visual and cultural vibrancy of Laramie and Albany County, in a manner that encourages participation and engagement from all our citizens and visitors.

Relative Theatrics strives to present thought-provoking theatre that examines the joining qualities of the human race. We believe that theatre is a forum with the power to illuminate the binding qualities of humanity and reinforce the ideals that as a society we have values that pose as common ground and emotions that relate us to one another.

Taking an artistic risk, we provide a community gathering place where thoughts can be exchanged about society, culture, and the power of creativity. Funding for this event is provided by Laramie Parks and Recreation. Additional support for LPAC and Relative Theatrics comes from Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and Wyoming Arts Council.

Contact LPAC at publicartlaramie@gmail.com or visit https://www.laramiepublicart.org/ for more information.

Relative Theatrics is located at 710 E. Garfield in Laramie. Visit https://www.relativetheatrics.com/ or contact them at relativetheatrics@gmail.com