The Laramie Project – Teacher’s Club – Review

Laramie Project

The Laramie Project – Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square East – June 22-26th at 7.30pm

In 1998 a young gay student by the name of Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead in the small town of Laramie. It was deemed a hate crime and became global news as the world waited to see whether Matthew would survive and what would become of those that committed the act. Laramie, Wyoming is a small town with a population of just over 30,000 which suddenly became the focus of the global media, and opened a discussion on homophobic violence and the lack of hate crime laws in several states including Wyoming.

This is a play by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project, who visited the town of Laramie and carried out a series of interviews with residents to get an insight into their lives. Was the crime the fault of a couple of deranged residents of the town or was society itself to blame? The town was like many others with a variety of view points, some liberal and some extremely conservative.

This is a new and ambitious production by Acting Out, Dublin’s LGBT community drama group. The 12 members of the amateur cast are, as you would expect, of mixed ability. They play various roles, changing quickly between characters. The production features minimal sets or props, with a narrator at the side of the stage to explain the setting. We get to meet the people who knew and loved Matthew and those that knew his murderers. There are religious leaders, community leaders and police officers. We see those that found Matthew after he was left for dead and those that tried to save his life. This play is part of the Gay Pride festival and it is good to remember that equality has come at a price.

Duration: 2 hours 30 (including interval)

Venue: Theatre@36, Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square East
Tickets €15/12 available from www.actingout.ticketleap.com/laramie

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