On the Road With Laramie




It is unfair to the people of Laramie, already traumatized by this crime and the media’s erroneous portrayal of them, to represent their town as the hate-crime capital of the world. It’s not, and obviously some of the distancing that we encountered upon our return can be attributed to a natural desire to redefine their home as something more wholesome than the scene of a hate crime. Still, to deny entirely that it was a hate crime, to deny entirely the very facts of the case, is irresponsible and dismissive of the experience of queer people who still choose to live their lives in Wyoming. No, Laramie isn’t more homophobic than other places. They have the same brand of overt and covert homophobia that surround us everywhere in our culture today, New York City included.

OK, I just got on the soapbox. I am supposed to be writing about our plays. It does relate, though. The issue of queer rights is still one of the most polarizing topics in our culture today. Passions run deep on both sides of the debate, and they certainly run deep in Laramie. It’s a central debate in The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. It’s much of what makes the play the dynamic evening of theater that it is — or perhaps I should say that it will be if we can all figure out where to stand and what to say.

Here we are, above, at that first idyllic day of rehearsal. Christopher Oakley took this picture before our initial table read of part 2. Director Moisés Kaufman is in the blue shirt and glasses. Clockwise from Moisés are Greg Pierotti, Mark Berger, Amy Resnick, Mercedes Herrero, Kelli Simpkins, Christina Rouner, Scott Barrow, and Jeremy Bobb. Also pictured, continuing clockwise, are stage manager Samone Weissman and assistant director Jimmy Maize. How fresh-faced, confident, and engaged we all look. Such innocence. Such hope. None of us able to foresee the chaos just a few weeks ahead. Well, if anyone can pull it together, it is this talented company. I will keep you posted.

Tags: Theater