BY KELLIE-ANN MAXWELL // APRIL 21 2016 //
Over the weekend, Curry Theatre put on a wonderful production of The Laramie Project, written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. The play is told through a series of interviews; it chronicles the story of the murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay student that attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
Throughout the play it is revealed how Shepard was murdered, who did it, and why. It also shows just how much it affected everybody in the city as well as the movement that was started in the city following the tragic events.
The production was very moving and emotional by the end; I saw many around me that were brought to tears by the story. The actors did a fantastic job of displaying the high emotions of the situations.
However, many have said, and I agree, that it was a bit hard to follow toward the beginning; even though there was a screen displaying each character’s name as they spoke and a narrator who also explained who each character was in relation to the story. As the play progressed, the story became much easier to follow.
The costuming was wonderful, and it made it much easier to tell which character was which, as some actors played multiple characters. Also, I personally quite liked the stage setup; a vaguely newspaper-ish background with coat hooks on it so that the actors could change costume on stage was very interesting.
At some points during the play the screen in the back was used to show some of the characters as though they were a news reporter, using a camera on stage to stream live-feed onto the screen. At times it was a little distracting from the play itself, but it was a really interesting concept.
Overall, it was a great production of The Laramie Project that people put a lot of hard work into and I very much enjoyed. It was easy to tell that both the audience and actors were moved by the play, as some of the performers couldn’t contain their loud sobs in the final scene which displays to a dark theater the night skyline that Matthew Shepard viewed in his last conscious moments.
The Laramie Project is an influential play that shows just how essential it is to make an effort to erase hate in the world. I commend the actors for portraying such a difficult story .