Download ePUB The Laramie ProjectAuthor Moisés Kaufman – Mariahilff.de

For a year and a half following the murder of Matthew Shepard, Mois s Kaufman and his Tectonic Theater Project whose previous play, Gross Indecency, was hailed as a work of unsurpassed originality conducted hundreds of interviews with the citizens of Laramie, Wyoming, to create this portrait of a town struggling with a horrific eventThe savage killing of Shepard, a young gay man, has become a national symbol of the struggle against intolerance But for the people of Laramie both the friends of Matthew and those who hated him without knowing him the tragedy was personal In a chorus of voices that brings to mind Thornton Wilder s Our Town, The Laramie Project allows those most deeply affected to speak, and the result is a brilliantly moving theatrical creation


10 thoughts on “The Laramie Project

  1. Christopher Christopher says:

    Polyphonic, Polyvalent Apostasy Written in moments instead of scenes, broken fragments, not of found poetry but of found voices curated to allow the townspeople to speak for themselves In today s moment where hate groups proliferate and violence mounts, this work remains sadly relevant.What this play says to me is that Small town America is big city America is rural America in one sense The human animal strives for community, acceptance, love, calories, understanding, enthrallment in every con Polyphonic, Polyvalent Apostasy Written in moments instead of scenes, broken fragments, not of found poetry but of found voices curated to allow the townspeople to speak for themselves In today s moment where hate groups proliferate and violence mounts, this work remains sadly relevant.What this play says to me is that Small town America is big city America is rural America in one sense The human animal strives for community, acceptance, love, calories, understanding, enthrallment in every context But what s particular about this situation is that despite this being a city, most people know each other or are at most only one degree of separation And so, if it is true that much hate is borne from cognitive dissonance, an impersonal spacing, the fear of the Other, then you have to look at Laramie as interesting case study, where less fathomable explanations obtain And grappling with these ideas, emotions and beliefs can be deeply troubling What s come out of this that s concrete or lasting 99 I remember when Matthew Shepard was killed I was in high school It was a news item It entered my world briefly and receded just as fast I remember hearing the criticism expressed in earnest near the end of the play about why this particular gruesome death would get so much coverage while many others went unrecognized You still hear charges leveled about the bias reflected by the choice of which stories get a share of the blue light and which remain in the dark So many arguments So many points Another one of which is that humans are really only able to experience empathy on an individual scale On another day I will scrutinize and criticize mainstream media for dramatizing trivia and trivializing drama But today, it s enough to say that sometimes important things come to light, if only briefly And that sometimes people like Mr Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project take that opportunity to ossify the moment And so this play has coalesced as both tribute and meditation on how the world of phenomena impacts belief formation and so that perhaps, Mr Shepard, you will not have died in vain A quick note on why I did not star though I reserve the right to go back and change that later I could not read this with my normal aesthetic eye though the prose was very thoughtfully curated as the play is one that is less literary though it does deconstruct its own form andpolitical social historical But, to be clear, I think everyone should spend the hour or so it takes to read, as everyone can take something from it I put off reading this for so long not because the subject matter was depressing If I m being honest, it waslikely that I thought it wouldn t tell me something I didn t already know Going back as far as secondary school I have been concerned and involved with issues of social justice I have long considered myself radically progressive and an LBGTQ ally Nonetheless, I took quite a bit away from this experience, not the least of which was the philosophical meditation on apostasy And I will speak with you, I will trust that if you write a play of this, that you say it right You need to do your best to say it correct 100


  2. Claire Claire says:

    Every American should read or see this play Period And everyone else should read it too It is a beautiful, sad, haunting funny biography of a town trying to cope with tragedy The unsparing honesty of the words, which are taken directly from first person interviews with real Laramie residents, takes this play out of the realm of Really Good Theatre into something even higher it s a mirror through which we see ourselves I directed this play in Ireland in a town similar to Laramie, and simila Every American should read or see this play Period And everyone else should read it too It is a beautiful, sad, haunting funny biography of a town trying to cope with tragedy The unsparing honesty of the words, which are taken directly from first person interviews with real Laramie residents, takes this play out of the realm of Really Good Theatre into something even higher it s a mirror through which we see ourselves I directed this play in Ireland in a town similar to Laramie, and similar to Walla Walla, Washington where I went to schoolsmall, old fashioned, conservative ish towns with a big liberal college smack in the middle, creating all kinds of unavoidable tension I was really pleased at the positive reception, which proved that you don t have to be a liberal Democrat American to find great resonance in the story Seriously Everyone should read this play


  3. Ashley Marie Ashley Marie says:

    A brilliant look at middle America in the wake of tragedy.


  4. Jared Jared says:

    I often find myself taking notes on books while I read them Although this is, of course, a paperback play it too became covered in my notes.What I ll always remember is arguing one sidedly and in the margins of this paperback with a Laramie resident who complained about the level of coverage Matthew Shepard s death received relative to that of a Laramie law enforcement officer who lost his life around the same time We lost one of ours, the woman who is herself the wife of a Laramie hi I often find myself taking notes on books while I read them Although this is, of course, a paperback play it too became covered in my notes.What I ll always remember is arguing one sidedly and in the margins of this paperback with a Laramie resident who complained about the level of coverage Matthew Shepard s death received relative to that of a Laramie law enforcement officer who lost his life around the same time We lost one of ours, the woman who is herself the wife of a Laramie highway patrol officer said of the officer This is an important point, as far as it goes For the woman then suggested we shouldn t mourn Shepard because of his status as an HIV positive man Matthew Shepard was one of yours, one of ours, too, ma am, I wrote in my copy of the play The ongoing struggle by LGBT people to be recognized as ours rests at the very core of this play.It s not that the mainstream media portrayed Shepard as a saint, as the widow suggests, its that they portrayed him as a man who was lifeless even before his death, a perpetual victim lacking agency.The big strength of this play is that it gives Matthew Shepard agency, life We learn that his friends loved him, but we also learn they recognized he never gave an inch when it came to being present in their lives in this regard, the story of a young Shepard staring holes into people until they left public places he frequented is instructive We learn that Mr Shepard was in college to work but also to party.This is not to say that a personal edginess, a wild side killed Matthew Shepard the thugs McKinney Henderson did that This is to say, rather, that Matthew Shepard was a human being in full As the fight for equality continues, may we say the same of all our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters


  5. C C C C says:

    Read this aloud with my drama class every day for 2 weeks Incredible experience discussing the social politics of the play We tried to emulate the style and structure of the play with a project of our own, focusing on our own school but shit got pear shaped quite quickly The project for fear of what could happen if someone released our taped interviews and saved transcripts of said interviews and used them for nefarious purposes.


  6. BrokenTune BrokenTune says:

    Thought provoking.Review to follow later.


  7. Jabiz Raisdana Jabiz Raisdana says:

    It s passed midnight and I have been reading this play all night Just finished it There are two plays in the version we have actually the original and The Laramie Project Ten Years Later Both were gripping This is a crucial play for any one interested in LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bi Sexual and Trans Gendered rights It begs us to question our understanding of tolerance and acceptance While some of the language and content is course and mature for middle school readers, the main themes of deali It s passed midnight and I have been reading this play all night Just finished it There are two plays in the version we have actually the original and The Laramie Project Ten Years Later Both were gripping This is a crucial play for any one interested in LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bi Sexual and Trans Gendered rights It begs us to question our understanding of tolerance and acceptance While some of the language and content is course and mature for middle school readers, the main themes of dealing with homophobia and equality in society are valuable lessons for readers of all ages The way this story is told is groundbreaking, I only hope i have a chance to see this play performed It was here in Singapore in July and I can t believe I missed it But even without the live performance th play reads clearly and is quite provocative For confident and mature readers for sure, but an important and harrowing experience


  8. Sophia Sophia says:

    it met its intentions however, I do not necessarily agree with its intentions resolution was too thin for my taste.


  9. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    Using this as a review of both this edition as well as this My secret hope was that they were from somewhere else that then of course you can create that distance We don t grow children like that here Well it s pretty clear that we do grow children like that hereI ve learned so much about people what they choose to believe if it makes them feel better How they have to interpret things to make their own being better, to fit their own image of themselves. Some years back, I watched Southe Using this as a review of both this edition as well as this My secret hope was that they were from somewhere else that then of course you can create that distance We don t grow children like that here Well it s pretty clear that we do grow children like that hereI ve learned so much about people what they choose to believe if it makes them feel better How they have to interpret things to make their own being better, to fit their own image of themselves. Some years back, I watched Southern Baptist agitators being blocked by people wearing huge spans of wings The wings were something unexpected that I didn t know the origin of, and when the news became distracted by the next cycle of evil, as it usually does, the image joined the host that floods the reservoirs of my familiarity, not to be recalled until I was a third done with this work here It was an unsettling feeling, on the scale of that that leads to the feeling of a goose walking over one s grave, andthan twenty years after Matthew Shephard was found lashed to a fence, head caved in and breath regularly stuttering to a stop, where have we come since then In the age of talking watches and global warming, if another white gay boy was murdered in a country town, what would we win, what would we lose, and how much would we let the system cannibalize the narrative until what remains becomes of the most use to the Powers That Be Whatever happens, I do plan on watching the play it s one that demands to be heard My parents were like, So what plays are you doing this year at school And I was like, Angels in America a nd we got into this huge argumentand my best, the best thing that I knew I had them on is it was just after they had seen me in a performance of Macbeth and onstage like I murdered like a little kid, and Lady Macduff and these two other guys and like and she goes well, you know homosexuality is a sin she kept saying that and I go, Mom, I just played a murderer tonight And you didn t seem to have a problem with that This work, unlike most things that have assumed the title of such, is truly the record of a nation I may be susceptible to the chosen Tectonic style due to my previous awe inspiring experience with Svetlana Alexievich remember the days when we had hope for the Nobel Prize for Lit , but I can still objectively gauge the worth of this piece, especially when the initial impetus of play is combined with its decade in the making successor As is often the case when I m looking for a work and end up acquiring it in a bundle with another, I almost liked the not pursued work , as it fellinto my own line of thinking asserting human dignity is a hard, long, and largely thankless, and there are endless of arrangements of traps, lies, and bad faith to counter before there is even a glimmer of hope to be found Much as it did in the nomination of Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, it took the election of Obama to sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, and while I will acknowledge that that doesn t wash the blood off that president s, and indeed the collective US presidency s, hands, it does make one think of butterflies into tornadoes, and tornadoes into butterflies Do we still have those kinds of people pushing for a decade on for some kind of recognition that, as long as gay trans panic laws, explicitly and otherwise, allow murder to be defined as necessary extermination, there will be a need for laws to tell the bigots that they are now the ones with the targets on their backs It s merely one law in one government in one country, and I haven t even checked whether it s been torn down by 45, but it s proof of what s possible, if nothing else They want to write this murder off And a big part of how people do that is 20 20.You had a major, respected news source who came up with this set of stories that said, Okay, it wasn t really about the fact that he was gay, it was really about this PBS did a nice rebuttal, they went point by point through the entire thing pointing out the false statements, the leading questions, the quotes taken out of contextbut how many people watch PBS and how many people watch 20 20.But here kids and adults too were leaving Laramie, and that fear, that s when I started realizing I mean that sthat s terroristic. Where I do I go from here, I wonder It took me almost a decade to read this, and I feel, unlike with other works, it would have made a significant mark on me whether I had gone out and purchased and subsequently immediately imbibed it way back in 2011, or even had read it when I acquired it a year ago through the luck of the book sale My collection of queer lit, fiction and non, on hand is not as robust as I would like it to be, and my focusing on it this month does spawn my typical paranoia about possibly reaching for something in the future and finding nothing within my grasp Matthew Shepard is dead, but I doubt he ll ever be gone, and what humanity owes to him is some constantly demonstrated proof that they bore witness and set in stone a marker of, never again We have the Trevor Project now, but I value farthe living queer people that I can check in on every once in a while and make sure that they re still going Seeing if they re truly alright would set myself upfor disappointment, but that s also something I m working on, macro as well as micro, and this play is a valuable addition to my anti bigotry toolkit NO, the crime certainly does not define Laramie How we react to the crime, how we talk about it, and if we do or don t do anything to prevent this from happening again does define Laramie.


  10. Brenda Brenda says:

    Matthew Shepard was a gay young man who was brutally beaten, tied to a fence post and left to die a slow, painful death in a small, Wyoming town His killers were two young men around his age one was a Mormon.When Shepard s murder saturated the media, I felt the usual disgust with the world that I do every time I hear of stuff like this But I had a hard time bringing myself to read about what happened It took a reading assignment in a class to get me to read The Laramie Project.The Laramie Matthew Shepard was a gay young man who was brutally beaten, tied to a fence post and left to die a slow, painful death in a small, Wyoming town His killers were two young men around his age one was a Mormon.When Shepard s murder saturated the media, I felt the usual disgust with the world that I do every time I hear of stuff like this But I had a hard time bringing myself to read about what happened It took a reading assignment in a class to get me to read The Laramie Project.The Laramie Project is a play written after a group of actors from the Tectonic Theater Project interviewed dozens of Laramie citizens The actors basically asked open ended questions and let the tape recorder run People have no idea how what they say contradicts what they do We live and let live here is what they say But ask a gay man who lives in Laramie what that means, and he will tell you that live and let live means, You don t tell me you re gay, and I won t kick the shit out of you When a critical mass of citizens believe that homosexuality is evil, and that if you let it be known you re gay, you are just asking for it, then horrible acts of inhumanity result.In light of the recent passage of Proposition 8, an anti gay marriage initiative in California, I feel great shame about having had anything to do with the Mormon religion in the past Knowing that the church spent millions of dollars to get this hate law on the books makes me fear for the men and women of faith who have bought into the church s homophobia and turned this into self loathing and despair I wonder how much this encourages acts of violence among stupid people who only need the flimsy excuse of religion to hurt someone.As you can see, this was a thought provoking book If you are like me, you won t read it if you think it will be nothing but a downer However, the end of the book is sprinkled with acts of kindness that people are capable of, and you will want to look for opportunities to use their resourcefulness and creativity when you are confronted with acts of hate