On the Road With Laramie

BY Advocate Contributors

August 25 2010 11:25 AM ET

LARAMIE WRITERS X390 (GREG PIEROTTI) | ADVOCATE.COM

Here is one scene where I finally get to sit in the same place and be the same character for few minutes. I play Aaron McKinney, and Mark Berger, at right, plays me. We decided that for this original production of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, I would play Aaron, since I am the only person in the company who has had a direct experience of him.

I met with Aaron at a state penitentiary in Virginia. We covered a lot of ground in the time we spent together. One thing he told me that was noteworthy was that his hatred of homosexuals “mighta played a small part” in the murder of Matthew Shepard. As obvious as this sounds to many of us, it ends up being rather important that he said it.

One of the shocks we encountered when we went back to Laramie after 10 years was that people in the community are changing the narrative of Matthew Shepard’s murder. Obviously, many in Laramie are committed to keeping the facts of Matt’s story alive. Just as many, however, now prefer to understand the murder as a robbery or a drug deal gone awry. While these types of rumors were around the first time we went to Wyoming, many folks in Laramie see a 20/20 story, made six years after the murder took place, as the point where these alternative narratives began to predominate.

Tags: Theater

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