In October 1998, in the little known US town of Laramie, Wyoming, a young gay man was tied to a fence, tortured and left fighting for his life by two young men trying to make a point about their hatred of homosexuals. This is the basis of Moises Kaufman’s brilliant play, The Laramie Project.
No one had heard of Matthew Shepard prior to his murder but the world changed its view of acceptance, tolerance and hate as a direct result of it.The Laramie Project is a verbatim theatre work based on numerous interviews with the town’s people conducted by the company members of Tectonic Theatre Project during the months that followed the attack. It is a powerful voice for equality, tolerance and simple human decency.
Matthew Shepard was about two months short of his twenty-second birth when he was robbed, beaten, tied to a fence post and left to die in a rural area of Wyoming, USA. He died on 12 October 1998.
And in the midst of the confusion, chaos, and controversy, Moises Kaufman and the members of The Tectonic Theatre Project arrived on the scene, to interview more than two hundred people about their thoughts and feelings on the case. These interviews were shaped into The Laramie Project, a drama that debuted in 2000 and which has since shocked, impressed and deeply moved audiences around the world.
The Laramie project takes no sides; it simply sets forth the words and allows the audience to judge.
What comes out about the story is that individually, the citizens of Laramie were as shocked as everyone else was. After all, they considered themselves as pretty tolerant, so how could a horrible tragedy like this ever happen amongst them?
Ultimately, Mr. Kaufman makes his point by just letting the citizens of Laramie come to terms with the horrible tragedy that shook their town.
It is a powerful voice for equality, tolerance and simple human decency.
The Laramie project hits The Civic Playhouse on Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st of May and is presented by The Regional Institute of Performing Arts (Hunter TAFE).
Tickets available from Ticketek 49291977 or the Playhouse box office. For more information visit the Civic Theatre site – http://www.civictheatrenewcastle.com.au/whats-on/2013-12-06-04-39-51/shows/item/153-the-laramie-project
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