Book #64: The Laramie Project, by Moises Kaufman

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to buy 9 different books and plays at our Half Price Books Outlet’s $1 sale. One of my purchases was The Laramie Project, a play I’ve been interested in reading for a while. After finishing The Final Solution this morning, I decided to sit down and read The Laramie Project, and the play took me no time to complete.

After three reading projects I’ve been less-than-thrilled by this month, I was very happy to sit down with this thought-provoking and emotionally-moving “moment play” that chronicles the murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. Since I was in first grade at the time of Shepard’s murder, I don’t remember much about the crime, except that Shepard was gay and brutally murdered. 

The Laramie Project tells Shepard’s story through a series of two hundred interviews  and journal entries over a two-year period with the people of Laramie and those who became related to the case. Though the play is a very quick read, it packs a serious punch and it certain to leave readers with lots to think about.

Shepard’s murder was a terrible,gruesome crime, but reading about what happened to him has really helped me see how far I think we’ve come in accepting the gay community. Obviously it’s still a major fight in the US, but I do think Shepard’s story is one that has sparked the movement of increasing tolerance and acceptance of minorities. I strongly recommend this play to anyone interested in learning more about Shepard’s story. 

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