Since 2000 The Laramie Project has been one of the most-performed contemporary plays in America. The epilogue, called The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, will be performed in New York City at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and at over 100 other theatres across the country on Oct. 12. As of Aug. 31, the follow-up will be presented in all 50 U.S. states and seven countries. It's billed as a "historic and unprecedented coordinated premiere."
The writers of this and the earlier play are Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber.
Tickets are now available for the Oct. 12 New York City event at Alice Tully Hall, at www.lincolncenter.org or by calling (800) 721-6500.
Information about tickets to all other events can be found on local links via www.laramieproject.org.
"We are thrilled to have over 120 theatres in all 50 states and seven countries participating in this historic event, from major regional theatres like Arena Stage in Washington, DC, to university-based partners such as Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, to community theatres like the PURE Theatre in South Carolina," stated Greg Reiner, executive director of the Tectonic Theater Project. "This premiere has been organized in the spirit of Hallie Flanigan's Federal Theatre, but with some very modern technological twists, including the online connection and interactive Q and A following the performances and our own online community at www.laramieproject.org." According to Tectonic, "The epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The play also includes new interviews with Matthew's mother Judy Shepard and Mathew's murderer Aaron McKinney, who's serving two consecutive life sentences. The writers also conducted many follow-up interviews Laramie residents from the original piece, including, Romaine Patterson, Reggie Fluty, Jedediah Shultz, Father Roger Schmidt, Jonas Slonaker and others."
In tandem with the premiere, "an online interactive community will be launched where participants can blog, upload video and photos and share their stories about the play, experiences in preparing and presenting the Epilogue in their communities."
The members of Tectonic Theater Project "will be active participants in the online community, offering participants feedback and encouragement."
On Oct. 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, WY. He died six days later. His murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted the violence and prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face. A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which they later made into a film for HBO. The piece has been seen by more than 50 million people around the country.