The Laramie Project
August 15th - October 8th, 2023
Teens (9th - 12th Grades)
“A pioneering work of theatrical reportage and a powerful stage event.” —Time
In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised, and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard, and he was the victim of this assault because he was gay.
Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half, in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. The play draws on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town, company members' own journal entries, and published news reports. It is divided into three acts, and eight actors portray more than sixty characters in a series of short scenes.
The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence.
25 years later, we seek to honor and remember Matthew Shepard. With the current rollback of protections for members of the LGBTQIA community Stages Bloomington feels the The Laramie Project is a timely and powerful production to share with our students and the community at large.
Presented by permission of Dramatists Play Service
Directed by Devin May
Students Grades 9-12*
*Please note that the dialogue describes in graphic detail by medical professionals on the scene the condition Matthew Shepard was found in, plus swearing by several characters. All dialogue is in the exact words spoken by the people of Laramie in interviews conducted by Tectonic Theater members.
Participants in this production should be aware prior to registering in this production class that this play explores mature themes.
Beginning Tuesday, August 15th
Days and Times**
Tuesday/Thursday 5:45 - 8:30 pm & Saturday Noon-4 pm
**Nightly during tech week, October 2nd - 5th
This is a Production Class
(Installment payment plans and needs based financial assistance available)
Registration is Closed.
Friday, October 6, 2023
October 6 @ 7:00 pm
October 7 @ 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm
October 8 @ 2:00 pm
John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium, Bloomington, IN