Article Title:Review: The Laramie Project: Ten years later
Author or Credit:Toni Duder
Published on:31st August 2012 - 10:17 am
Internet Archive link:
NDHA link:
Note that the National Library of New Zealand (NDHA) website uses both cookies and frames. The first time you click on a link it first may take you to the archived front page of Close the window and try again. This is because the NDHA website uses cookies and you cannot access an indiviual page without visiting the front page first
Story ID:12213
Text:Coming from a small town in Northland New Zealand means that I have to have some sort of shorthand to help people figure out where the hell I’m talking about. And while I think muttering: “you know, Dargaville? The Kumara capital” is bad, I realised sitting watching The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later in the Basement Theatre that there are much worse things for a community to be associated with. In 1998, the death of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming caused a worldwide ripple effect. The fence where he was left tied to for 18 hours became almost a tourist attraction, and the murder gave rise to social recognition and even lawful recognition about hate crimes and the plight of LGBT youth. Coming ten years after a production was organised around the murder - bringing the verbatim words of the community of Laramie in reaction to this tragedy, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is an epilogue of sorts. It explores- in the same rapid fire, documentary-esque style as its predecessor- the effects of the Matthew Shepard murder ten years after the fact. Ten years later, the removal of media spotlight on Laramie has left behind room for stigma and inaccuracy to seep in. The point of contest there is the growing number of citizens who believe the murder was a meth-fuelled robbery gone wrong- instead of the homophobic hate crime that the court established it to be. Coming into this production with only a vague knowledge of what happened to Matthew (the fence stuck in my mind, as his 90s boy band good looks) and having not seen The Laramie Project, at first the way that the actors moved around stage, changing costume and shifting props was overwhelming. I struggled to concentrate on what was being said. But interest, intrigue and awe began to creep up on me as the play delved deeper into the emotions and after effects of the murder. The shifting of the actors into different characters was skilful and, at times, humorous and really enhanced the feeling of community. You could feel Laramie in the play. You could feel the geography and the residents’ connections and strengths. Their grief. Their denial. With the current marriage equality bill bringing the issue of gay rights to the forefront of national attention in New Zealand, The Laramie Project: Ten Years later succeeds in hitting home the importance of such measures- to ensure that fear and hatred is not allowed to permeate into law making and our sense of justice. While Laramie, Wyoming may seem like a world away, the issues that the residents face are relevant and powerful. It is a commendable production, one that stuck me to my seat with its insight and dealings with change- but not necessarily progress. The Laramie Project: Ten years later runs at Auckland's The Basement until 8 September and tickets are just $20, or $16 for students. You can buy them here - Reviewed by Toni Duder Toni Duder - 31st August 2012    
Disclaimer:This page displays a version of the article with all formatting and images removed. It was harvested automatically and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly: access this content at your own risk. A copy of the full article is available (off-line) at the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand. This online version is provided for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us
Reproduction note:Just before closed in May 2017, the website owners wrote this article about reproducing content from the website: "our work has always been available for glbti people to use and all we ask is that you not plagiarise it... if you use it anywhere please attribute it to and where there is an authors name attached please acknowledge that writer."