The Laramie Project

The policies the current administration is trying to impose on the country are a direct assault on our community.
"What can you take with you when you can't take anything with you? Only your stories. This one is mine." The direction is
Even after 16 years, the name and story of Matthew Shepard, whose murder, carved into American history, represented a watershed moment that forever changed the conversation about the LGBT experience, not only still resonate but continue to have an impact.
At the end of my first year in college, just when I began to come out to my family and friends, I read about a young man in the United States, Matthew Shepard, who had been brutally murdered for being gay. This shocked me for many reasons -- first, because I identified with a few of Matthew's traits.
The Laramie Project is a play that I just had the opportunity to not only perform in at my school, the University of Mississippi, but see performed by a cast from Ford's Theatre in D.C. this past Friday. The performance was followed by a vigil. Matthew's father, Dennis Shepard, was there.
Write directly to the Chancellor of the university, Dr. Daniel W. Jones at chancllr@olemiss.edu and to the director of Athletics
Written by Moisés Kaufman ("Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde," "33 Variations") in 2000, the play has continued
The reason cited is because they feel what the school offers should be family entertainment for all ages, and that the admirable
Hanson's decision was supported by Superintendent Davis Eidahl, who said he wanted "the focus of our Ottumwa High School
As Tectonic Theater Project workshopped and constructed The Laramie Project, one of the characters I surrendered was that of Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother. But for The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, Judy sat for a formal interview with Moisés Kaufman, and I was asked to portray her.
It's hard to think that anyone simply listening to the Metropolitan Opera's new production as conducted by Daniele Gatti wouldn't be transported the instant the composer's moody prelude begins.
Upon learning of Matthew Shepard's death, I don't know that my first reaction was, "How could this happen?" There was something eerily and uncomfortably familiar with what I was reading about in the paper that day. It brought back a memory that I had all but buried years before.
As an actor, you don't always feel that your work is relevant. Sometimes you'd like to be in the trenches of life, truly helping people in a more direct way. But with this play I never felt that. And I remember how I started making subtle shifts in my habits.
There are moments in history that cast a sudden bright light on an entire culture. And if what happens in that moment can be recorded, we can seize the moment for change. The murder of Matthew Shepard was just such a moment.
Check out photos from "The Laramie Project Cycle," courtesy of BAM, below: The original cast of "The Laramie Project" will
Aaron Kreifels was riding his bike through a field in Wyoming. He wasn't expecting that day to be different from any other beautiful sunny afternoon in the vast plains surrounding Laramie, but that day would change many lives.
I must have said or felt something, but I don't recall my reaction. Matthew Shepard isn't mentioned in my journal. It's like someone tampered with my memories, dubbing over my emotions with white noise. Most likely, I shut out everything. Feeling anything would have risked too much.
I woke up one morning last week to an invitation to a Facebook group alerting me that Notre Dame High School, my alma mater, had just cancelled a planned production of The Laramie Project after some parents complained that the play "promotes homosexual beliefs."
See this production. It's why we go to the theatre, folks. It slaps us awake and forces us to examine how we can support change not only as individuals, but as a community.
This fall, drama students at Buffalo Grove High School are putting on "The Laramie Project," a production chosen "to emphasize