Sunday, August 29, 2010

Laramie

Okay, I know it's been awhile. All summer actually and I apologize for those of you loyal enough to follow this blog. I will tell you the tale of how the rest of my summer went in another blog post. This one is dedicated to The Laramie Project, the show I am directing at the Stage Co.

The Laramie Project is a show about the impact of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay man age 21, in Laramie, WY in October of 1998.  He had been beaten, tied to a buck fence and left for dead. Eighteen hours later he was found, still alive, and sent to the hospital, where he died three days later. The show not only tells the story of Matthew's death, but also of it's impact on the town of Laramie. The Tectonic Theater Project, headed by Mois├ęs Kaufman, went to the town and conducted over 200 interviews with the residents. Their stories, and the stories of the members of the Tectonic Theater Company, make up the play The Laramie Project.

I was thrilled when I heard that the Stage Co., the local community theater, was going to produce this show. I honestly didn't believe that they had it in them. I didn't think the play would be accepted by the play selection committee. I was wrong. I applied to direct the show, with the not so subtle encouragement of fellow theater members and I was given the honor.

Well, tonight, we had our first read through. And it was AMAZING!!!! I am so very pleased with my cast and fellow director that I can't stand it. We all sat in a circle on the stage and just read. It was the most powerful, emotional, well done read through that I have ever been a part of. I was speechless after the rehearsal was over. I quoted something that I believe is very important to the production of this play. Father Roger Schmit says that "...I will trust you people that if you write a play of this, that you...say it right, say it correct. I think you have a responsibility to do that."

We have now accepted that responsibility and I, for one, am proud to take that responsibility on. I still have goose bumps thinking back on tonight. I can see the potential and the end, along with the journey, is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. I can't even begin to explain the power and the excitement and joy and passion and love that I already feel for this cast and this production.

People of Laramie: May I do you proud.