New Musical at FAU

Florida Atlantic University is fast becoming the home for new theater productions in Palm Beach County. On September 24, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters together with Opera Fusion will present the world premiere of the one-act musical Not in My Town. The premiere performance will take place at 7 p.m., with an encore scheduled for September 25 at 3 p.m.

Written by Fort Lauderdale composer and librettist Michael W. Ross, Not in My Town is based on the events surrounding the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. A young gay man living in Wyoming, Shepard’s death was deemed a hate crime and sparked a national conversation about hate-crime legislation.

With his musical, Ross hopes to shed light on the heroes in this story—including Shepard’s friend Romaine Patterson, who went on to become an LGBTQA activist—and the positive aftereffects of this horrible incident, like the passing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

“I wrote Not in My Town because I don’t think people know what happened after Matthew Shepard died,” Ross said in a statement. “I want the audience to see that good can come from such a terrible tragedy.”

Not in My Town tickets are available for purchase at or by calling 800-564-9539

Cast members perform in a preview of Not in My Town

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