Twenty-two years after the first performance of The Laramie Project, its message about bigotry and intolerance is needed more than ever and the Garfield Theatre is doing its part by offering the play three weekends starting this weekend on Friday May 22.
Based on the 1998 murder of 21-year-old gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, the play evolved out of six trips to Laramie, Wyoming by actors from New York’s Tectonic Theatre Group. Ten members of the acting group spent hundreds of hours interviewing the community hoping to understand the social environment that led to Shepard’s kidnapping, mutilation, and death.
The collection of interviews became a verbatim script for the play formed in the tradition of documentary theatre and requiring each of the ten actors to play multiple parts.
“I love the concept of it as something you don’t normally see on stage. In my production there are ten people and those ten people portray anywhere from five to seven people,” Director Michael Moore says. To help them prepare for multiple character portrayals, Moore had each actor write in a journal to help define their unique identities.
Moore believes in the power of the production and hopes that it will rekindle conversations about hate crimes, break down stereotypes and challenge our current political environment where in 2022 alone 240 anti-LGBT bills have already been filed.
The Spy recently dropped in on a Garfield rehearsal for The Laramie Project and talked with Director Michael Moore.
“The Laramie Project” by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. Directed by Michael Moore. Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Performance Dates: April 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, May 1, 6, 7, 8, 2022
This video is approximately minutes in length. For more information and tickets please go here.