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The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later opens on Friday - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later opens on Friday [Aug. 9th, 2012|08:27 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |proud]
[music |the replacements: alex chilton]

trillian_stars' new play opens in Philadelphia this Friday. I hope you can make it.

Most people know that in 1998 a gay University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepherd met two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, in a bar in Laramie Wyoming and got in a car with them. McKinney and Henderson took Matthew out into a remote area, tied him to a fence and beat him to death. The killers said they did it because Matthew made a pass at them in the car -- whatever happened, they killed him because he was gay.

The world was shocked by this and a New York playwright named Moises Kauffman went to Wyoming and interviewed dozens of people associated with the crime. This turned into the extremely popular play The Laramie Project which trillian_stars was in years ago and years later her father was in another production and played Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church who got famous that year by picketing Matthew Shepherd's funeral.

Click to Enlarge

The Laramie Project is a very popular play, most people have probably seen it, they made a movie of it.

What people probably don't know is that in 2004 the killers, Henderson and McKinney did a strange interview with ABC's 20/20 in which they recanted their story and said instead they killed Matthew Shepherd over drugs. One of the killers, his ex-girlfriend announces to ABC's Elizabeth Vargas is actually bisexual, he didn't hate gays.

There was an uproar after the 20/20 interview, North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx announced that Shepherd's murder was "a hoax" and a whole debate started up again with some people now defending the killers (they weren't full of hate, just full of drugs!)

Playwright Moisés Kaufman went back to Laramie, Wyoming ten years after Matthew Shepherd's killing and talked to many of the people he'd interviewed the first time, to see how things had changed in the decade since the event.

This play is the result of those interviews.

Click to enlarge

I'll be there on Friday as a proud husband. Stick around after the play and say hi.

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[User Picture]From: howlokitty
2012-08-09 07:20 pm (UTC)
I wish I could go. I was in theater when it first came out, and the play is very important to me. I wish I could see 10 Years Later to see how it turns out, but alas flying to Philly to see a play is a little cost prohibitive. :(
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[User Picture]From: small_chicken
2012-08-10 11:46 am (UTC)
...and one reason for killing him is less reprehensible than the other because...?

I wish I could see it. I love theater but it's hard to follow when it's in a second (well, I suppose technically it's my third) language.
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[User Picture]From: trillian_stars
2012-08-10 12:51 pm (UTC)
That was the feeling the 20/20 episode gave... that somehow it was ok Matt Shepard was killed because he was a drug addict or was hanging out with the wrong set of people. It's a horrible thing to watch.
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