66 pages 2 hours read

Moises Kaufman

The Laramie Project

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2001

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Act I, Moments 11-13

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act I, Moments 11-13 Summary

“The Word” considers the reactions of Laramie’s religious leaders—the unnamed Baptist Minister, Stephen Mead Johnson, the Unitarian Minister, Doug Laws, the Mormon Stake Ecclesiastical leader, and Father Roger Schmit, a local Catholic Priest—to Matthew Shepard’s death. This section opens with the Baptist Minister preaching that the word of the Lord is “either sufficient or it is not” (35). Similarly, Doug Laws mentions the importance of the boundaries set for us by God. Stephen Mead Johnson notes that many of the conservative Christian pastors have been very quiet about the crime, and this ambivalent response made Father Schmit, who hosted a vigil for Matthew, particularly angry.

A different perspective on religion is provided in “The Scarf,” which takes material from an interview with Zubaida Ula, a young Muslim woman, feminist, and university student who has lived in Laramie since she was four. She began wearing a head scarf two years ago, after which people began to treat her differently and question her about her religious beliefs. She finds it surreal to think that a play about Laramie will be staged in New York.

The religious theme continues in “Lifestyle 1,” in which Amanda Gronich has a conversation with the Baptist Minister’s wife, requesting an interview with him.