66 pages 2 hours read

Moises Kaufman

The Laramie Project

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2001

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Act II, Moments 18-21

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act II, Moments 18-21 Summary

In “That Night,” Rulon Stacey recalls getting a phone call at about 11:30pm to tell him that Matthew’s blood pressure had dropped. About half an hour later he got another phone call to say that Matthew had died. He returned to the hospital to meet with Matthew’s parents and they agreed upon a statement, which he delivered at around 4am.

This statement provides the material for the third and final “Medical Update” in Act II. At 4:30am on Monday, October 12th, Rulon Stacey announced that at 12:53am that day, Matthew Shepard died. His family wants to express their gratitude for the support they have received. They mention that Matthew was born premature and left the world prematurely too.

“Magnitude” offers Rulon Stacey’s reflections on why he “lost it” (69) on TV and cried while delivering the statement about Matthew’s death. He had gotten very little sleep and was thinking about his own family. Afterwards, he received a lot of support, but also some abusive and homophobic messages. He acknowledges that he does not agree with homosexuality—which he refers to as a lifestyle—but all the same he was astounded by “the magnitude with which some people hate” (70).

“H-O-P-E” is the concluding moment of Act II.