Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the members of the tectonic theater project

Back Cover: On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act of brutality and hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard's death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people of Laramie the event was deeply personal, and it is their voices we hear in this stunningly effective theater piece. Moises Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews as well as their own experiences, Kafuman and the Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience. The Laramie Project chronicles the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder, using eight actors to embody more than sixty different people in their own words- from rural rachers to university professors. The result is a complex portrayal that dispels the simplistic media stereotypes and explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable. This was sad. I hadn't heard of it before but my dad did and it was something that was very national and a lot of people knew about it and still do. It was short, but it was to the point. The way its set up is moments, instead of like scenes. And it really is realistic and sad. The good thing about it is they not only focus on the death but what it did to this little town and how it changed their views on some things. It's sad really how someone could just kill a guy because he's gay, or he supposedly made a pass on him. It lets you know how Matthew Shepard was and gives a story to his name, not just a picture and a victim. It was good and when I first started reading it I totally forget to even think about masculinity and violence! But i have to, but it was def moving and a different type of play I've read because of course Shakespeare is where it's at it in high school ha. But it'd be interesting to actually go see the play or I think it's a movie too? Not sure.

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