The Laramie Project was originally performed by the Tectonic Theater Project under the direction of Moises Kaufmann, Eaglecrest High School’s Harlequin Players took on this incredibly powerful production with 15 actors to play 73 characters. The play is a culmination of the interviews conducted by Tectonic Theater Project.
The story is about a hate crime that took place in Laramie, Wyoming, which made national news. In 1998, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay. He suffered for 18 hours in the cold dressed in only light clothing and no shoes before being found. He died six days later at the Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado.
After the theater shooting incident in our home town, this was quite an undertaking. The cast was chosen last April.
To help the actors understand the town, they traveled to Laramie and even to the very fence where Matthew was left to die. The costuming for the production was made up entirely of clothing purchased at a thrift store in Laramie.
I’m familiar with the beliefs of some of the kids, and to see them playing characters with complete opposite beliefs is a true testament to their acting abilities. I was moved to tears a few times.
It was a black box theater production with a traverse stage. There were four uniquely positioned cameras which alternately projected characters onto two large framed screens visible from both sides as they told there stories as interviewed. The staging and technical aspects were impressive!
Kudos, Harlequin Players, for another awesome drama production!