The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 10, 2013

'Laramie Project' pushes forward

OTTUMWA — Auditions for "The Laramie Project" are on the horizon, and the play's leaders hope school administrators have learned their lesson.

The play looks at the Laramie, Wyo. community's reaction to the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, in 1998. His murder brought attention to hate crimes across the nation. Last month, Ottumwa schools superintendent Davis Eidahl announced that the play would not be allowed to be performed by the Ottumwa High School drama department.

"The production in and of itself will go on, and the message still gets out there, which is important," said Dale Dommer, who is directing the play at Bridge View Center. "The problem I have, and I don't know why Davis doesn't see this, is the message we give by not allowing it in the school — and that's what he's missing. The message he sends by not allowing it is a much greater message to everybody."

OHS drama teacher Natalie Saunders said in the 20 years she's directed school plays, this is the first to be banned.

Dommer called Eidahl's refusal to allow the play censorship.

"We're using Matthew Shepard's story as a medium," he said. "It could be any black, Jewish or gay person, it doesn't matter. It's not about Matthew, it's not about Natalie or me or Davis, it's about humanity."

Dommer said he's upset Eidahl "can't see what he has done" and that in today's society, producing the play is not controversial — banning it is.

"Davis is a bully, whether he wants to recognize that or not," Dommer said. "Right, wrong or indifferent, our school system is in a bad way and they're not going to tell you that, but it is."

Text Only
Local News
  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

  • LCL scholarship recipients Supporting the health care future of the community OTTUMWA — For several area college students, Thursday afternoon was a chance to put names and faces with the thousands of scholarship dollars they have just received. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation hosted a reception to honor the 25 college s

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0801 OTT DMV new building exterior -M Ottumwa's DMV station ready to move OTTUMWA — If you believe you'll need to visit the driver's license station next month, you may want to write this down: 2849 N. Court St., Suite B. That'll be the new address for the Iowa DMV's office, which is currently located across from the Fairf

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Five Things logo -L T Five things to do in southeast Iowa OTTUMWA — Celebrate summer in a variety of ways and in several communities this weekend. Many towns are holding festivals, shows and events all centered around the summer theme, so head out while it's warm. 1. "Summer Shorts" is the Davis County Play

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook