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Salem State Theatre Presents: “The Laramie Project”

May 6

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 12:00 am, repeating until May 6, 2021

The Salem State theatre department presents The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of the Tectonic Theater Project. A recorded performance will be available to view online April 29- May 6. Tickets are available at www.salemstatetickets.com.

In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His battered body discovered the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard. He was the victim of this hate crime because he was gay.

Over the next year, Moisés Kaufman and a team of writers and actors from Tectonic Theater Project took six trips to Laramie. They conducted over 200 interviews with citizens of the town. Some people interviewed were intimately connected to the tragedy. Others were not. These interviews transformed into The Laramie Project, a theatrical examination of the immediate reactions of Matthew Shepard’s community to the murder and to the underlying bigotry and hatred that enabled it.

Laramie Project director Bill Cunningham shares that “eleven years after Matthew Shepard was murdered, President Barack Obama signed into federal law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Yet, as the 23rd anniversary of Matthew’s murder approaches, the state of Wyoming — “The Equality State” —still has not passed legislation to recognize or seek to prevent hate crimes. Lawmakers have said that they are still hoping for more “stakeholder input.” It is our hope that, with this performance of The Laramie Project, audiences will empathetically respond to the story of Matthew Shepard, the people of Laramie, and all those impacted by his death. And we hope that the power of that empathy moves people to be stakeholders against the forces of hate.”

Tickets for The Laramie Project are $10 general/free for students. Reservations for both events at www.salemstatetickets.com. Note: The Laramie Project is intended for mature audiences.  

Content warning: Homophobia, reference to murder, assault and physical violence, coarse language, and adult situations.