“The Laramie Project” tackles hate issues

By on March 21, 2002

Hatred, terrorism and discrimination are common words in the vocabularies of many Americans in this day and age.
People are being harassed and killed because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.
Not only are these acts happening, they are increasing in frequency. The New York Techtonic Theater Company developed “The Laramie Project,” a play that displays hatred and discrimination in some of their worst forms.
Eleven students at Quinnipiac University presented the play to the public from Feb. 28 through Mar. 2 in Buckman Theater.
“The Laramie Project” is a play that begins with the true story of Matthew Shepard, and contains other stories of hate that were gathered in an effort to make a statement with the show.
The play opens in Laramie, Wyoming where in 1998, Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and killed simply because he was a homosexual.
This story hit many Americans hard several years ago and it acts as an eye-opener to many. The play is making waves across the country.
Coincidentally, HBO released a television version of “The Laramie Project,” developed by the Sundance Institute, around the same time as Quinnipiac’s production.
Crystal Brian directed Quinnipiac’s version of the play. Brian chose the controversial show for the school and was pleased when she felt, “very supported by the community.” Brian emphasized that the play tackled such important issues, which characterized that, “there are so many types of hatred.”
Brian also felt the choice of show would be appropriate because of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States. She explained that the issues involved in the show are “always real,” and that the show is a perfect example that, “we are all in this together.”
“I hope it will come from unity,” she said.
She believes that sometimes the arts, especially theater, provide an outlet for expression that can touch individuals in ways other media cannot.
Calling attention to the tragedies that have happened in our past are a way of enlightening minds as to what needs to happen to prevent further problems. Brian only wishes the show’s curtain could have opened a few more times.


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