Saturday, September 13, 2008

Return to Laramie reports: "A decade after piecing together the docudrama The Laramie Project, about people involved with and affected by the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, the creators of the play are returning to Laramie, Wyoming, to write an epilogue.

Crafted by director Mois├ęs Kaufman and members of his Tectonic Theater Project, who interviewed Wyoming and Colorado residents and wrote and acted in the resulting play, The Laramie Project was produced by Denver Center Theatre Company in association with Tectonic in early 2000 and then ran Off-Broadway March-September 2000. It has since blossomed in regional theatres and in college theatres. A film version appeared on HBO.

On October 6, 1998, Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie. He died six days later. "His torture and murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted many of the fault lines in our culture," according to Tectonic. "A month after the murder the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town."

This month, Tectonic members return 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?"

According to a September 4 Tectonic blog announcement, "From the interviews conducted, they will write an article with their findings that they hope to publish in the New York Times as well as other major national papers. They will also write an Epilogue for the play to be added to the published version of the script."

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