Jul 29, 2021pacl_teens rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
""The Laramie Project" is a work of documentary theatre about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college college student who, in 1998, was beaten to death by two men in the town of Laramie, Wyoming. Moises Kaufman and his Tectonic Theatre Project constructed the play using unaltered words of over 200 town residents. These words were taken from interviews conducted over the span of one and a half years. With the variety of people that were interviewed, from friends and family of Matthew, to significant public officials, uninvolved American citizens, and the perpetrators themselves, the reader or audience gains an insightful display of the many different perspectives on this incident. The range of stories and emotions portrayed in this piece can be moving or alarming, and all lend themselves to telling a tale that became a national symbol for the LGBTQ+ and equal rights movement.
In 2014, the Tectonic Theatre Project released a sequel to this work, called "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later." For it, the theatre company revisited the town a decade after the first play's release, to present the impact the event's closure had on the small, conservative town. Besides a hint of overall storytelling, both "The Laramie Project" and its sequel provide plentiful information on the progress of the equal rights movement and hate crime legislation. It is important to learn about these subjects, especially in the present environment, and reading this play is a great way to do so." -Chloe, Grade 11