On Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m., Tacoma Little Theatre’s Off the Shelf program will present the moving true story, “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.”
On Oct. 6, 1998, gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard left the Fireside Bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. The following day, Shepard was discovered on a prairie at the edge of town, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and close to death. Six days later, he died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colo. On Nov. 14, 1998, 10 members of Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. Over the next year, the company returned to Laramie six times and conducted more than 200 interviews. These texts became the basis for the play, “The Laramie Project.”
Ten years later, on Sept. 12, 2008, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history. In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted us in the original play, this time around the company also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard. “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later” is a bold new work that asks the question, “How does society write its own history?”
Written Moises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber, with direction by Warren Kerr, “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later” features the talents of Ethan Hinze, Ana Bury-Quinn, Mark Peterson, Rachael Telford, Russ Coffey, Jenifer Gillis-Rifenbery, Scott C. Brown, Karla Gjerde-Seman, Devin Jackson and Deniece Bleha.
Tickets are $10 for non-TLT Members, and free for those who are members. Tickets may be purchased online at www.tacomalittletheatre.com, or by calling the box office at (253) 272-2281.