The Laramie Project And The Laramie Project
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The Laramie Project, one of the most-performed theater pieces in America, has become a modern classic. In this expanded edition, it is joined by an essential and moving sequel to the original play. On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence 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 the town, the event was deeply personal. In the aftermath, Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and conducted more than 200 interviews with its citizens. From the transcripts, the playwrights constructed an extraordinary chronicle of life in the town after the murder. In The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, the troupe revisits the town a decade after the tragedy, finding a community grappling with its legacy and its place in history. The two plays together comprise an epic and deeply moving theatrical cycle that explores the life of an American town over the course a decade.
THE STORY: On November 6, 1998, gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard left the Fireside Bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. The following day he was discovered on a prairie at the edge of town, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and close to death. Six days later Matthew Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colorado. On November 14th, 1998, ten members of Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming and conducted interviews with the people of the town. Over the next year, the company returned to Laramie six times and conducted over 200 interviews. These texts became the basis for the play The Laramie Project. Ten years later on September 12th, 2008, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history. In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted us in the original play, this time around, the company also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard. THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER is a bold new work, which asks the question, "How does society write its own history?"
A chorus of voices brings to life the thoughts and feelings of the people of Laramie, Wyoming, in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man.
"On October 6th of 1998 Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. He died 6 days later. His torture and murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted many of the fault lines in our culture. A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which they later made into a film for HBO. ... 10 years later, Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie to find out what has happened over the last 10 years. Has Matthew's murder had a lasting impact on that community? How has the town changed as a result of this event? What does life in Laramie tell us about life in America 10 years later? And how is history being rewritten to tell a new story of Matthew Shepard's murder, one that changes the motivation of his killers from homophobia to a "drug deal gone bad" despite all evidence to the contrary?"--Laramie Project web site. This is an epilogue to the original play.
THE STORY: In early 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde's young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, left a card at Wilde's club bearing the phrase posing somdomite. Wilde sued the Marquess for criminal libel. The defense denounced Wild
"The culmination of the two year process of researching, casting, rehearsing and producing the socially relevant play, The Laramie project, by Moises Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project" --abstract.
A detailed guide to the collaborative method developed by the acclaimed creators of The Laramie Project and Gross Indecency--destined to become a classic. A Vintage Original. By Moisés Kaufman and Barbara Pitts McAdams with Leigh Fondakowski, Andy Paris, Greg Pierotti, Kelli Simpkins, Jimmy Maize, and Scott Barrow. For more than two decades, the members of Tectonic Theater Project have been rigorously experimenting with the process of theatrical creation. Here they set forth a detailed manual of their devising method and a thorough chronicle of how they wrote some of their best-known works. This book is for all theater artists—actors, writers, designers, and directors—who wish to create work that embraces the unbridled potential of the stage.
“The Meaning of Matthew is Judy Shepard’s passionate and courageous attempt to understand what no mother should have to understand, which is why her son was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in the fall of 1998. It is a vivid testimony to a life cut short, and testimony too, to the bravery and compassion of Judy and Dennis—Matthew’s parents—as they struggle to survive a grief that won’t go away.”—Larry McMurty, author of Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove Today the name Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but until 1998, he was just Judy Shepard’s son. In this remarkably candid memoir, Judy Shepard shares the story behind the headlines. Interweaving memories of Matthew and her family with the challenges of confronting her son’s death, Judy describes how she handled the crippling loss of her child in the public eye, the vigils and protests held by strangers in her son’s name, and ultimately how she and her husband gained the courage to help prosecutors convict her son's murderers. The Meaning of Matthew is more than a retelling of horrific injustice that brought the reality of inequality and homophobia into the American consciousness. It is an unforgettable and inspiring account of how one ordinary woman turned an unthinkable tragedy into a vital message for the world.
A Study Guide for Moises Kaufman's "The Laramie Project," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Drama For Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Drama For Students for all of your research needs.
“Methamphetamine was a huge part of this case . . . It was a horrible murder driven by drugs.” — Prosecutor Cal Rerucha, who convicted Matthew Shepard's killers On the night of October 6, 1998, twenty-one-year-old Matthew Shepard left a bar with two alleged “strangers,” Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Eighteen hours later, Matthew was found tied to a log fence on the outskirts of town, unconscious and barely alive. Overnight, a politically expedient myth took the place of important facts. By the time Matthew died a few days later, his name was synonymous with anti-gay hate. The Book of Matt, first published in 2013, demonstrated that the truth was in fact far more complicated – and daunting. Stephen Jimenez’s account revealed primary documents that had been under seal, and gave voice to many with firsthand knowledge of the case who had not been heard from, including members of law enforcement. In his Introduction to this updated edition, journalist Andrew Sullivan writes: “No one wanted Steve Jimenez to report this story, let alone go back and back to Laramie, Wyoming, asking awkward questions, puzzling over strange discrepancies, re-interviewing sources, seeking a deeper, more complex truth about the ghastly killing than America, it turned out, was prepared to hear. It was worse than that, actually. Not only did no one want to hear more about it, but many were incensed that the case was being re-examined at all.” As a gay man Jimenez felt an added moral imperative to tell the story of Matthew’s murder honestly, and his reporting has been thoroughly corroborated. “I urge you to read [The Book of Matt] carefully and skeptically,” Sullivan writes, “and to see better how life rarely fits into the neat boxes we want it to inhabit. That Matthew Shepard was a meth dealer and meth user says nothing that bad about him, and in no way mitigates the hideous brutality of the crime that killed him; instead it shows how vulnerable so many are to the drug’s escapist lure and its astonishing capacity to heighten sexual pleasure so that it’s the only thing you want to live for. Shepard was a victim twice over: of meth and of a fellow meth user.”