On the Road With
BY Advocate Contributors
September 14 2010 3:20 PM ET
Here is a table full of directors, designers, writers, and interns and actress Christina Rouner rehearsing the role of Beth Loffreda in Laramie: 10 Years Later. Beth starts us off in the second play with the words, “I’m thinking about the anniversary a lot. Ten years have passed ... That’s a long time.”
She was somewhat haunted by Matthew Shepard when I interviewed her for the second play. She came to teach at the University of Wyoming just a few months before Matthew was killed. In the aftermath of the murder, she was moved to write a remarkable book. Anyone who wants to understand the complexities of this crime and the culture from which it arose must read Losing Matt Shepard.
Chapter 2 of that book opens with, “A town is not a culture, not precisely. Drive ten blocks in any direction in Laramie, and perhaps the most you could say that is definitively shared by the lives you move past is that they happen under the same quixotic weather, surrounded by the same light-struck, wind-cut plain.”
The same might be said of Tectonic Theater Project. We are not a culture. Not precisely. In my previous column I described my disappointment with some in Laramie who have changed the narrative of Matthew’s murder. Some disagreement in the company ensued regarding my analysis of the situation in Laramie and whether it was appropriate for me to make a judgment on the subject. To a degree the concerns are warranted. Our role, after all, has always been to listen to Laramie and report back what we hear.
So just to be clear, the perspectives that I express in this series are mine alone. I don’t speak for our theater company. Just as there can be no simple understanding of what Laramie “believes” — as if a town could believe anything — there can be no simple understanding of what Tectonic “believes.”
The plays we make are born out of collaborative effort, out of our willingness to be influenced by one another, and out of our compromises when we continue to disagree. This divergence of opinions and aesthetics, along with the struggle to forge them all into a cohesive whole in our plays, is what gives rigor to the work. Our individual beliefs and perspectives about the lives we represent and the stories we tell always remain our own. The fact that Moisés Kaufman has created a company where this kind of struggle and creativity can unfold and that I am a part of it is one of the more satisfying situations in my life.
- Boy Scouts Vote to End Discrimination Against Gay Youth
- WATCH: What Happens When a Gay Boy Scout Comes Out to His Camp Leader
- Nevada Takes Another Step Toward Marriage Equality
- Canada Lifts Lifetime Blood Ban on Gay Men — But There's a Catch
- Transgender High School Senior Skips Graduation Over School's Transphobic Policy
- Op-ed: Boy Scouts Must Complete the Inclusion Process to Remain Relevant
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Commentary Op-ed: Boy Scouts Must Complete the Inclusion Process 41 min 4 sec ago
- Sports Gay Athletes Hop Aboard the Condom Mobile 58 min 56 sec ago
- Crime Questions Over Police Response to Murder of N.Y. Gay Man Still Unanswered 1 hour 11 min ago
- Marriage Equality Nevada Takes Another Step Toward Marriage Equality 1 hour 32 min ago
- Youth BREAKING: Scouts Vote to End Discrimination Against Gay Youth 1 hour 51 min ago
- Theater WATCH: How Billy Porter Becomes Kinky Boots Drag Diva 1 hour 58 min ago
- Entertainment News Debbie Reynolds: 'We All Knew He Was Gay' 2 hours 23 min ago