66 pages • 2 hours readMoises Kaufman
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The members of the company appear throughout the play both to introduce people they have interviewed and to offer their own reflections on this project. There are several references that indicate at least some of the company members are LGBT, pointing to the fact that they have a particular stake in telling Matthew Shepard’s story. However, because they are trying to gather as much information as they ca, and put people at their ease, there are a number of situations where they are forced to listen to homophobic discourse without offering a rebuttal. A particularly poignant instance of this is when Amanda is interviewing the Baptist Minister.
While Matthew Shepard is central to The Laramie Project, we learn very little about him. He was small, slim gay man, a university student who aspired to work in the area of human rights. He was generous with money and would talk to anyone. He always drank Heineken. This lack of information reflects Matthew’s absence and the fact that, what is really at stake in the aftermath of his attack is the meaning of his death, rather than his life.