The antigay Westboro Baptist Church is planning a return engagement in Albany, N.Y., to protest a high school production of The Laramie Project mounted in response to an earlier Westboro demonstration.
The play, to be performed November 19-22 at Albany High School, portrays the response to Matthew Shepard's brutal murder in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998 -- including the protests of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps and his "God hates fags" flock at Shepard's funeral.
Members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro, who frequently protest productions of the play around the nation, plan to be in Albany November 20. They last demonstrated in the city in March, on their way to protest a staging of The Laramie Project in Plattsburgh, N.Y. They were met with a large counterdemonstration (pictured) in Albany, and their appearance led the high school students to decide to produce the play.
"I hope it fills them with love, with the knowledge that this is our world," Aaron Moore, an 18-year-old senior who will play Phelps in the production, told the Albany Times Union. "This is how it's going to be, and this is how it's going to stay."