From Mina Morita, director of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later
It is hard to imagine that more than 10 years have passed since Matthew Shepard’s life was taken with hate in Laramie, Wyoming.
As a nation, we were shocked that such a thing could happen. The violence was immediate and personal. And yet, where do we stand as a country today, 10 years later? And how has Laramie changed?
Without the wave of media coverage, how often does the average American think of 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina? Memory is ephemeral, and when the media forgets, so do we.
Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, has not forgotten. Neither has Tectonic Theater Project, creators of the play (and later movie) The Laramie Project. Tectonic returned to Laramie to see what has changed after a decade.
On October 12th, Berkeley Rep will be participating with over 100 theatre companies in all 50 states, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong, and Australia to present a play reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.
We will be part of an international dialogue created by this second encounter with the Laramie community. Theatre will be a vehicle for creating a collective consciousness magnified by the power of 100.
Tectonic has also created a virtual home for us to share our thoughts, experiences, photos, and videos relating to this event. All are welcome to post — theatre artists, audiences, everyone. I invite you to join the conversation. Through conversation we will create awareness and momentum. Cultural and bureaucratic transformation takes time, but we must keep asking questions and pushing for change.
For information about the Berkeley Rep reading, visit our Laramie Project page. The cast includes members of Berkeley Rep's 2001 production of The Laramie Project, James Asher, Kate Austin-Groen, Matthew Chavez, Alex Moggridge and Amy Resnick, along with veteran Berkeley Rep performers James Carpenter, Blake Ellis, Jeri Lynn Cohen, Stacy Ross, and Lynne Soffer (the original dialect coach on the Berkeley Rep production and a frequent collaborator with Tectonic).
Post-show discussion: Berkeley Rep literary manager and dramaturg Madeleine Oldham will moderate an onstage discussion with director Mina Morita and Greg Miraglia of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Video: The Tectonic crew has also created a trailer for the epilogue featuring some of the interviews they conducted during their return to Laramie:
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