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Batavia Players

October 16, 2019 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, news, city centre, dri, batavia.

A slightly revised lease for property owned by the City of Batavia in the mall for Batavia Players got a renewed objection by Councilman Bob Bialkowski and as was the case in February of 2018, Bialkowski was the lone dissenting vote to approve the lease.

Bialkowski objected to the lease at Tuesday night's council meeting, he said, because it didn't address issues he said were typically in commercial leases -- such as provision for a dumpster, snow removal, parking, after-hour usage, and utilities.

He said the lack of clarity on these issues could lead to a lawsuit against the city and that since it is the first of what may be more leases of city property in the mall, the right precedent needs to be set.

"In my opinion, a good lease makes for good business," Bialkowski said.

He made a motion to rewrite the lease but it failed for lack of a second.

City Attorney George Van Ness said the only change in the lease was an extension of the term in order to meet state requirements for Downtown Revitalization Funds.

The proposal by Batavia Players to move the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue to 35 City Centre -- the former Dent Neurological Clinic office, between Genesee Dental and The Insurance Center -- at a total cost of $901,750, was approved by the governor's office as part of the $10 million DRI award to the City of Batavia last year. The state grant will cover $701,750 of the construction costs.

Van Ness said if the city renegotiated the lease to the degree Bialkowski proposed, the past year's worth of work with the state to get final approval for the project would be lost and the process would start from the beginning.

"This is a standard commercial lease," Van Ness said. "It's been used in the past for other properties. It's been approved by Dent counsel. It's been reviewed and approved by counsel for Batavia Players as well as the Department of State.

"So respectfully, it's a standard lease in terms and received prior approval by the council on February 12th, 2018. Many of these same questions were asked and answered at that point in time. They were addressed and council voted at that point seven to one in favor of the lease."

Councilman Paul Viele, a contractor and commercial property owner, told his fellow council members that the lease is a standard "triple net."

A triple net lease means the tenant assumes responsibility for not just the rent, but also all other property expenses such as property tax, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

"I don't think anyone understands that they (Batavia Players) are responsible for most of everything that Bob raises as an issue," Viele said.

The council approved the lease on a 7-1 vote, with Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian absent.

October 16, 2019 - 12:21pm

Press release:

The Batavia Players and the Harvester 56 Theater are pleased to announce that they will be offering Theater and Acting Master Classes over this Thanksgiving weekend.

The classes will be conducted by Emilio Viera, an award-winning Toronto-based actor.

Classes offered are:

  • Unlocking Shakespeare: Breaking Down the Text -- 1 to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29
  • Unarmed Stage Combat 101 -- 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 30
  • Unlocking Shakespeare: Monologue Workshop -- 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30

Each class has a limited attendance and will be on a first-come first-serve basis. The cost of each three-hour class will be $75, or take all three for $180.

All classes will be limited in attendance and be on a first-come first-serve basis.

“This is an exciting and wonderful opportunity for all our local actors," said Patrick Burk, executive and artistic director of the Harvester 56 Theater. "Emilio is an amazing performer that has an incredible presence on stage. His ability to work with all ages and provide a solid Master Class Program makes him ideal for our theater community.”

Emilio Viera has been featured in "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Measure for Measure" with the Canadian Stage’s critically acclaimed Shakespeare in High Park. Other classical credits include "Titus Andronicus" and "As You Like It" (Canadian Stage), and "Romeo and Juliet" (Guild Festival Theatre).

His performances at the National Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, Canada have included several roles in "The Tempest," "Coriolanus," "Twelfth Night" and "Macbeth."

He has also appeared in "Romeo and Juliet" (Guild Festival Theatre.) Viera was part of the original cast of Hannah Moscovitch’s "Bunny" at the Stratford Festival. This past year he was part of the original cast of Andrew Kushnir’s "Towards Youth" at the Crows Theatre in association with Project Humanity.

In 2016, he became one of the youngest recipients of The Peter Donaldson Award at The Stratford Festival, which recognizes an actor with ability in classical texts.

Always game for a candid discussion about the work, Viera enjoys participating in theater education whether it be as a student or a teacher. He is looking forward to being part of the Harvester 56 Theater family and providing classes to the actors that are a part of this exciting regional theater.

Actors interested in any of the classes should contact Patrick Burk at:  [email protected]

Enrollment sheets and payments can be made at the Harvester 56 Theater Box Office, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, or they can be sent to: Patrick Burk, Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, NY 14020.

September 25, 2019 - 3:00pm


Visit our website for a schedule of all of our upcoming shows and special events. (www.BataviaPlayers.org)

Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia

 

The mission of Batavia Players Inc. is to bring affordable theater to the community by making theater accessible to everyone with a variety of quality productions, to enhance artistic growth of participants and encourage audiences to think, feel and develop an appreciation for theater.

July 18, 2019 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in harverster 56, theater, Batavia Players, arts, entertainment, video.
Video Sponsor

Children who participated in this year's annual theater summer camp sponsored by Batavia Players will perform "Seussical KIDS" this Friday and Saturday at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at the door.

May 10, 2019 - 10:57am
Video Sponsor

Carol Burnett's Hollywood Arms opens at 7:30 p.m. at the Harvest 56 Theater.

Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $13 or $11 for students and seniors.

UPDATE: While deleted some unpublished videos from our YouTube account yesterday I must have accidentally deleted the original upload of this video.  Here it is again.

April 5, 2019 - 11:54am

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Batavia Players premier their production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" at 7:30 p.m. at the Harvester 56 Theater.

There are also performances at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Next weekend, there will be two performances, Friday and Saturday, at the Wyoming Village Hall.

Tickets are available at the box office prior to each performance.

Cast:

  • King Lear, Norm Argulski
  • Gonoril, Wendy Williams 
  • Duke of Albany, Sean Williams
  • Regan, Kathy Johns
  • Duke of Cornwall, Xander Farley
  • Cordelia, Malloryann Flanagan
  • Duke of Burgundy, Russell Lang
  • King of France, Paul Meloon
  • Fool, Cynthia Nelson
  • Earl of Gloucester, Kevin Partridge
  • Edgar, James Barcomb
  • Edmund, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone
  • Earl of Kent, Steve Coburn
  • Oswald, Erin Stamp
  • Lewis, Jim Lewis
  • Doctor Gerhart, Dorothy Gerhart
  • Curan, Patrick D. Burk
  • Captain, Michele Stamp
  • Messenger/Herald, Jocelyn Coburn
  • Jailor, Russell Lang

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January 9, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, news, Blood Drive.

The Batavia Players will hold their first blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, in the reception area of Harvester 56 Theatre, located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia,

To schedule an appointment go online here and enter sponsor code 000489; or call Unyts at (716) 512-7940.

A photo ID is required to donate blood.

December 3, 2018 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, news, Annie.

Press release:

The Batavia Players/Harvester 56 Theater are pleased to announce that due to high ticket sales for our originally schedule production of "Annie," we have added another production on Thursday, Dec. 20th.

This very special offering of "Annie" will also be a fundraising event for Broadway Cares --internationally known for its commitment to AIDS research, patient care and health-related issues. It is also in the forefront of breast cancer research and recently assisted and aided with the California fire relief.

For every ticket sold, the Batavia Players will be donating $3 to Broadway Cares.

We also will have special auction prizes and a 50/50 Raffle during the evening. The evening will be all “tied up in a holiday bow” with special refreshments and meeting the cast. Please join us for this wonderful evening of heater, music and holiday spirit.

Get your tickets online today!

Adults $15 / Students and Seniors $12

www.bataviaplayers.org

November 9, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, fundraiser, theater, batavia, news.
Press release:
 
Tomorrow, Nov. 10, from 3-6 p.m., the Batavia Players are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at St. James Episcopal Church (405 E. Main St., Batavia).
 
Dinner is open to the public and includes pasta with homemade sauce, salad and bread for $10. Take out is available. At 4:30 p.m., the “orphans” from the upcoming musical "Annie" will be performing excerpts from the show.
 
"Annie" will be on stage at the Harvester 56 Theater Dec. 14,15,16 and 21, 22, 23.
 
With a cast of 40 actors, "Annie" is one of the largest productions the Batavia Players have performed at the Harvester 56 Theater. Actors come from seven counties in Western New York to participate in this show.
 
The Batavia Players also expect "Annie" to be the most popular show of the season. Tickets for the show are on sale now; one-third of all available tickets were sold in the first 24 hours.
October 20, 2018 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, news, arts, entertainment, batavia, Harvester 56 Theater.

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Batavia Players hosts its annual fundraising concert at 7:30 tonight at Harvester 56 Theater.

The cast perfoms a variety of show tunes in their production of "Stories, Songs & Just a Touch of Sin."

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Photos submitted by Pat Burk.

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Kaylee Dehlinger (Center) with Jocelyn Coburn and Kathryn Fitzpatrick singing "It Won't Be Long" from "Across The Universe."

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Jacqueline Morrison, Tiffany Keicher, Kristin Gelia, and Alix Young singing "I'm A Woman" from "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

March 29, 2018 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Players, news, macbeth, GO ART!, Film, Tavern 2.o.1.

Batavia Players and GO ART! present the film screening of "Macbeth" on Saturday, April 7, at GO ART! , 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

Join them for the screening of this locally produced, full-length feature film of "Macbeth" directed by Adam Dixson and Mallory Ann Flanagan. It was shot entirely in the City of Batavia.

And, celebrate the Grand Opening Weekend of GO ART!’s Tavern 2.o.1 -- a beer and wine bar.

Only 40 tickets available for "MacBeth," $20 per ticket.

Bar opens at 4 p.m.; hor d’oeuvres served at 7 p.m.

"Macbeth" begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets available at  www.Bataviaplayers.org

February 12, 2018 - 11:35pm

To lease or not to lease … that is the question.

Batavia City Council members answered that line with a resounding yes tonight, approving by a 7-1 margin a resolution to enter into a lease agreement with Batavia Players that opens the door for the theatrical troupe to make a new home at the downtown City Centre.

“I cannot wait until they come into the mall,” said Council member Patti Pacino. “It’s just a wonderful way to bring people downtown where they will get into the habit before we open Eli Fish, before we fill the Carr’s department store (so) we’ve already got people down there. It’s just a delightful idea.”

Pacino joined Adam Tabelski, Kathleen Briggs, Al McGinnis, Paul Viele, John Canale and Council President Eugene Jankowski in voting in favor of the agreement to allow Batavia Players to lease space at parcels 2, 35 and 39 Batavia City Centre (sharing space in one of the parcels with Dent Neurologic Institute). Rose Mary Christian was at an out-of-town conference.

Robert Bialkowski cast the “no” vote, contending that the lease contains inaccuracies and loopholes, and that it keeps the City in an unenviable position as a landlord.

“My position is you draw a lease and you draw it properly – you don’t have all these errors in it, and I’ve never heard of a lease saying, ‘We don’t include utilities, you go work it out with the other guy who is paying for it,’” he said. “This is how you end up in court with lawsuits.”

Bialkowski disputed the monthly rent figure in the lease for months seven through 12, stating that it should be $2,243.76 instead of the $1,223.86, based on $3 per square foot for the 8,975 square feet to be rented by Batavia Players.

Interim City Manager Matt Worth acknowledged that the original draft had the wrong amount, but said that it had been corrected.

Bialkowski also questioned whether the City would be responsible for repairs and utilities, and pushed for his colleagues to put the space up for sale.

“I don’t believe in the City sitting on property and being the landlord. It’s not the job of government to be a landlord,” he said afterwards. “It’s the job of government to take repossessed property from taxes or whatever, put them on the auction block and sell them.”

He also said the low rent per square footage ($1 per square foot for the first six months, $3 per square foot in months seven through 12, and $4 per square foot in months 13 through 60) created “an unfair competition” situation.

“There are plenty of places to rent downtown; they cannot rent for $2 a square foot – it’s impossible. So for the City to be renting below cost is ridiculous, and it’s unfair competition, I would say.”

Worth noted that the mall operation user fee charged to tenants is $2 per square foot, so – including property rented by Dent, “the total (rent collected) exceeds that amount (user fees).”

The lease calls for Batavia Players to be responsible for everything except structural repairs. As far as utilities are concerned, Dent is currently footing the bill.

In the end, Council took the view that the Batavia Players organization is a community asset and would be in a stronger position to recieve some of the $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative money by being able to stake its claim downtown.

Pacino said Batavia Players has a solid track record and is a popular family entertainment option – just what is needed downtown.

“Batavia Players has everybody acting from 5 years old to 100 years old,” she said. “Every one of those has a family that comes to see every one of their plays. Every time they come to a rehearsal, every time they have a play, they’re downtown where we’re trying to get people.

“Then they’re going to a place to get something to eat. On their way there, they’re putting gas in their car. They’re (Batavia Players) doing everything positive …They’ve already proven themselves where they are. They’re dependable, and they take responsibility.”

In other action, Council:

-- Voted unanimously to take $17,400 out of the former Vibrant Batavia funds to pay for the engineering and architectural costs to design a flood-compliant home for Genesee County Habitat for Humanity at 116 Swan St., but only after amending the resolution to make sure the City has full use of those plans for future home building in a flood zone.

Bialkowski wondered aloud if the City would take ownership of the documents, or if they would belong to Habitat for Humanity.

“I think that since the City is paying for the engineering, we should own the design. Then it would be public domain,” he said.

After a brief discussion, Council agreed, voting 8-0 on an amendment making the resolution contingent upon Habitat for Humanity sharing the plans (and making copies available to the City) for the public domain. Then the board voted 8-0 in favor of the resolution.

-- Scheduled public hearings for Feb. 26 on the 2018-19 budget, water rates, meter fees, capital improvement fees, and City Centre concourse user fees and to amend the Business Improvement District plan.

The $24.3 million budget comes with a tax rate of $8.99 per thousand of assessed valuation, down from $9.27 a year ago.

Water rates are set to go up by 3.5 percent -- Bialkowski cast the lone “no” vote on water rate increases, citing high poverty rates in the City -- and the capital improvement fee is set to go up by about 5 percent.

The City Centre Concourse user fee is in play due to the recent settlement between the City and the Mall Merchants. The fee is $2 per square foot, effective April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2012, and goes up to $2.04 in 2021-22 and $2.06 in 2022-23.

-- Voted to accept a low bid of $721,566 from Roman Construction Development Corp. of North Tonawanda to complete construction of 12,300 linear feet of sidewalk as part of the Healthy Schools Corridor Project.

-- Heard from Jankowski that the city manager search committee will be meeting Wednesday afternoon to look at proposals from seven search firms and is prepared to share its recommendation at the next Council meeting (Feb. 26).

January 22, 2018 - 11:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Batavia Muckdogs, dwyer stadium, Batavia Players.

The prospect of keeping professional baseball at Dwyer Stadium is looking brighter after the Batavia City Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the assignment of the Dwyer Stadium lease to the New York-Penn League and its wholly owned subsidiary, Batavia Muckdogs Inc.

The NY-P has decided to step in and run the Short Season Class A team, which had been operated by the Rochester Red Wings for the past decade. The league ended the agreement between Rochester and the Genesee County Baseball Club Inc., in November.

“We had several conversations (with NY-P officials) in late fall, and they expressed a desire to stay in Batavia for 2018,” City Attorney George Van Nest said at tonight’s meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

Van Nest said the issue of extending the lease and sublease is time sensitive since the NY-P hopes to begin assessing Dwyer Stadium later this month. He said the all terms of the current lease will remain the same – removing the GCBC from the lease -- and the extension will be in force through April 2019.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian noted that the Red Wings “removed their equipment,” inferring there could be additional City expense above and beyond the $25,000 it contributes to the stadium on an annual basis.

Van Nest said NY-P officials talked about improvements to the facility.

It also is believed that pre-existing agreements for local high schools to use Dwyer Stadium will continue. It is unclear if the NY-P will supply its own staff or use local employees, including longtime groundskeeper Don Rock, who attended tonight’s meeting.

In other action, Council:

-- Agreed to consider leasing three City-owned City Centre Mall parcels (known as the Dent property) to the Batavia Players theater troupe, but expressed concerns about the rent schedule, square footage and the ability to sell the parcels if desired.

Christian questioned Patrick Burk, Batavia Players president, about the number of employees, wages, volunteers and hours invested into their productions. Burk said there are 15 to 20 part-time employees throughout the year at their current location of 56 Harvester Ave., some who receive stipends that pay them “more than minimum wage in some cases.”

But Christian said she had a “problem with leasing any parts of the mall.”

“I want to totally get out of the mall,” she said. “I have a problem with nonprofits not paying property taxes.”

The lease agreement calls for monthly rent charges of $747.92 for months one through six ($1 per square foot), $1,223.86 for months seven through 12 ($3 per square foot), and $2,991.66 for months 13 through 60 ($4 per square foot). It also allows the City to sell the property, with 180 days’ notice. By multiplying the initial rent times 12, that comes to 8,975 square feet that the City would be leasing to the Batavia Players.

Councilman Robert Bialkowski said he found a discrepancy in the square footage, and asked if the City would end up subsidizing part of the maintenance fees.

Van Nest said he and Interim City Manager Matt Worth would look into the fees and square footage and provide that information to Council prior to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

Council members John Canale and Patti Pacino spoke on behalf of Batavia Players, with Canale calling the organization “a pillar of the community” that would draw much activity to downtown.

“Plus, with the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative award that the City received), part of it is to get the arts to the downtown area,” he said.

Burk said the Batavia Players are seeking more than $500,000 from the City's $10 million DRI award to fund most of the organization's relocation project.

Pacino urged her colleagues to “please put feet on the street downtown” by leasing space to Batavia Players.

In the end, Council voted to move the proposal to the Feb. 12 meeting contingent upon an accurate count of the square footage to be leased.

-- Moved resolutions concerning the 2018-19 budget, water rate changes, Business Improvement District plan and City Centre concourse user fee local law amendments (see preview story below) to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

-- Agreed to consider a contract with In Site: Architecture LLP, of Perry, to assess the deteriorating condition of the pillars at the north entrance of Redfield Parkway, and conduct design work as required related to lighting, preparation of bid documents, construction specifications, bidding coordination and construction administration at a cost of $4,860.

Worth said In Site: Architecture has an outstanding track record of historic work, and called its bid a “soup to nuts proposal.”

Earlier, Council heard from city resident John Roach, who asked that if it was possible to create a special use taxing district – likely consisting of residents on or near Redfield Parkway -- to pay for the repairs.

“The study will cost $4,800 and it may take $17,000 to fix them (the pillars),” he said. (A special taxing district) would raise money to pay for the pillars without irritating the rest of us.”

Worth and Van Nest said they will look into that.

January 12, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, 56 Harvester, arts, entertainment.

Tomorrow the Batavia Players will screen a premier showing of "Macbeth," filmed and produced in Batavia, at the Harvester 56 Theater.

"Though the language is true to the original Shakespeare, the period is modern with a 'West Side Story' flare," said Emily Crawford, publicist for Harvester 56.

"The roles of nobility and the murderous rivalry between them has been adapted to a gang environment. This is the first time many of our actors are appearing on screen, though we do have a few veterans in the mix."

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 at the door.

November 16, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Batavia Players.

Press release:

Batavia Players Inc. is holding its second annual Craft and Vendor Fair and Open House from 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, at Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Also on Sunday, auditions will be beld for "On Broadway 9" -- a show choir style review.

There will be 17 specialized crafters and vendors at the fair, and FREE kids activities throughout the afternoon (participating kids will be leaving with two crafts that they can gift for the holidays). Plus, there will be music, refreshments, raffles, silent auction and more. There will be fresh baked goods for sale just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The fair is a great event to get ready for the holidays and support the arts. Proceeds support local business and the arts.

The Sunday audition will take place at the theater from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All ages are welcome to audition.

More information is available at www.BataviaPlayers.org.

For questions or more information, call Amanda Melissa Taylor at 716-622-2747.

October 31, 2017 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56, theater, arts, news.

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Batavia Players presents "Frankenstein: A New Musical" this weekend and next weekend at the Harverster 56 Theater in Batavia.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, and at 2 p.m. this Sunday only. Tickets are $15 per adult or $12 for students and seniors. 

The cast is Pat Burk, Richard Ferris, Cale Dehlinger, Erin Stamp, Liam Crawford, James Barcomb, Heather Ferris, Petyon Woeller, Derrick Crawford, Emily Crawford, Jocelyn Coburn, Norah Crawford, Steve Coburn, Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Kaylee Dehlinger, Jessie Pierce, Lucine Kauffman, Rose Bower, Isaiah Merrill, Samantha Rychlicki, A.T., and Gabriel Flanagan.

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October 20, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., the Batavia Players will present "Broads, Boys & Broadway Backwards" at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. 

Tickets are $15 and include a champagne reception after the show.

The players will perform songs from Broadway musicals, but with gender roles reversed. The men will sing the women's parts and the women will sing the men's parts.

Performers are Pat Burk, Amanda Taylor, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone, Cameron Bontrager, Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Jerrod Baldwin-Giambrone, Joe Kusmierczak, Erin Stamp, Kathryn Fitzpatrick and Wendy Williams.

The show is directed by Pat Burk. Musical direction and accompaniment, Kathy White.

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September 13, 2017 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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This weekend the Batavia Players present at Harvester 56 a three-act play, "The Laramie Project," which is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Shepard was a 22-year-old student at the University of Wyoming when he was beaten and robbed and left tied to a fence post in the fall of 1998. Two friends of Shepard's soon after claimed he was killed because he was gay and Shepard's death gained national attention and led to the creation of hate crime laws in most states. Whether Shepard was killed because he was gay has been called into question during the intervening years.

The play is written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and students.

The show contains content that may not be suitable for young children.

The cast: Dorothy Gerhart, Michele Stamp, Joe Kasmierczak, Anthony Giambrone, Micheal Flanagan, Wendy Williams, Kathy Johns, Lucine Kauffman, Peggy Marone, and Norm Argulsky. All cast members play multiple roles.

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