After the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, Laramie, the place where Matthew lived, changed forever. Some argue that America as a whole changed also. This moving testimony to the effects of Matt's tragedy upon the place he called home is a rare thing - extremely emotive drama that allows the audience to make their own minds up regarding the murder. Never patronising or mawkish, Kauffman allows the residents of Laramie to speak for themselves without overwriting their individual voice, whatever their moral opinion. The Laramie Project has since become, apparently, the second most performed play in America but has only been seen briefly in the UK when Tectonic theatre Project visited. Read this script and you'll wonder why no-one has taken it up yet! A must for anyone interested in seminal theatre or the tragedy of Matt's death.
The Laramie Project is a play that attempts to examine the aftermath in Laramie, Wyoming, of murdered college student, Matthew Shephard.
I basically bought this to use as a case study for an upcoming college exam in moral Theology. The play covers many of the issues I intend to focus on ie. Murder, Human Rights, The Death Penalty and the HIV/AIDs problem.
The beautiful thing about this play is that it is authentic. The words within it are real, spoken by real people of the town of Laramie. Moreover, the people themselves come from all walks of life - whether they be ranchers, ministers, college students or bartenders - everybody has a story to tell!
Overall, the play is an extraordinary, heartfelt read and I say this because you can 'feel' the words impact on your mind as they are read. The speakers are real, so you get the sense of grieving with the residents and trying to come to terms with such a horrible crime.
Buy it. Money well spent.
Also, do check out the HBO produced film, The Laramie Project... it is almost word-for-word like this play.
"The Laramie Project" is so much more than just a collection of monologues - the text tells a complete story of the cast and crew's time in the town and, as Moisés Kaufman says categorically in his foreword, it gives a complete and unbiased picture of the events surrounding Matthew Shepard's tragic murder. Quite rightly, the director describes the event as a "lightning rod", attracting and distilling the complex essence of a time. I bought the play to use for monologues in drama-school auditions, for which it is perfect, full of good-sized speeches with brilliantly written text (since most of the play is verbatim, taken from actual interviews/reports) and a diverse range of emotional states and political/social viewpoints. This is an excellently written, compelling and urgent piece of theatre which is as incredible and profoundly moving to read as it is to perform.
I needed this book for my Uni course I had to read it then write a 3000 word essay on Verbatim Theatre. It is a true story about the homophobic murder of Mathew Shepard. A theatre company go to the town where the murder happened & interview over 200 towns people & record what they say then use it to create the play that is the Laramie project.