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The Laramie Project


Sat 8 Mar 2014, 7:30pm–9:30pm
Wed 12 Mar 2014, 7:30pm–9:30pm
Thu 13 Mar 2014, 7:30pm–9:30pm
Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:30pm–9:30pm
Sat 15 Mar 2014, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: The Open Stage, 510 Hagley Ave, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged: $20.00
  • Unwaged: $17.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: histenone

By Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Craig Ogilvie

Riccarton Players Inc presents - The Laramie Project

First staged in 2000, The Laramie Project was lauded then by Time Magazine as "One of the ten best plays of the year. A pioneering work of theatrical reportage and a powerful stage event." The Associated Press called it, "Astonishing”. Not since Angels in America has a play attempted so much: nothing less than an examination of the American psyche at the end of the millennium."

The Laramie Project is a fascinating insight into a small Wyoming town reeling from the brutal attack and subsequent death of a 19 year old gay University student, Matthew Shepherd. Tied to a fence in a barren landscape, brutally beaten and left to die, the incident caused an intense international media sensation in 1998, with the world and the locals asking,"How could this happen here?".

The Laramie Project is a result of over 200 interviews with Laramie locals conducted by members of New York's Tectonic Theatre Company, some of whom also appear in the play. With fascinating insights into attitudes towards sexuality, religon and various other social prejudices, the fabric of the town is unravelled and revealed with gritty and often amusing candour.

The play presents a selection of 'moments' from these interviews. Featuring a cast of 14, the play actually presents over 75 individual characters, with each cast member switching between multiple roles, a huge challenge, according first time Director, Craig Ogilvie. "This is a wonderful, but daunting opportunity for actors to challenge their ability to play various roles of differing age groups. It's tough, but thrilling."

According to Ogilvie, "The play reminds us of just how far New Zealand has come in it's journey to equality for gay men and women, whilst provoking thought on how far we still have to go and we are not there yet." The stark contrast of the progress (or lack there of) of equal rights and hate crime legislation in various parts of the United States, where The Laramie Project is set, provides an interesting comparison.

(New Zealand passed hate crime legislation in 2002 and legalised gay marriage in 2013).

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