Alex Saxton Jaramillo
The Laramie Project History
We often turn on the news and discover events that are happening in the world. Some are joyous and some bring a great deal sadness. The story of Michael Shepard is just that.
Matthew Wayne Shepard was an American student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998. He was targeted and abused for being gay. A Laramie police officer testified that the violence against Matthew was because of how the attacker felt about gays. How could you hate someone so much because of there view, beliefs, and sexual preference enough to kill them?
Because of this tragic incident it lead to attention of national international hate crime legislation of state and federal levels. In 2009 his mother Judy wrote a book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Trasformed. So many people wanted to take a stand to let this situation never happen again, which also lead to a play titled the Laramie Project.
15 years after Matthews’s death the Laramie Project opened. The play was written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project. The play talks on hundreds of interviews with each actor playing several characters throughout the show. The topic is obviously not at all light. But it does leave with the feeling of hope.
This play was written to take a stand and to teach people to be better. To love our neighbors rather than hate them. No one is perfect in this world. I love the meaning of this show and the history that surrounds it because it is a true story. It is so tragic that something like this had to happen to someone so innocent. But I am glad for the brave people to make it known that can touch audiences everywhere.