Auburn Players Community Theater is presenting an emotional and powerful show called “The Laramie Project.”
It’s a documentary-style play that tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a young college student who was beaten and pistol-whipped before being tied to fence in Laramie, Wyoming, and left to die.
Shepard was gay and his attackers allegedly lured him by pretending they were, too – to gain his trust so they could rob him. The attack left Shepard on life support and after six days, he died.
It happened in 1998 but remains one of the most well-known hate crimes in recent American history.
“It’s a series of interviews really with people who either knew people involved with what happened in Laramie or just even some people who just lived in the town at the time” actress Nancy Carabajal Hunt says of the show.
9 cast members play 60 different characters in “The Laramie Project.”
“It’s written in moments and I consider it to be written in almost a stream of conscience” adds Carabajal Hunt. “It’s not linear in point A to point B. It sort of jumps around the timeline of what happened in Laramie, and it’s really the story of the town and the people there, more so than Matthew because obviously we know what happened to Matthew but this show really tells us about everyone else.”
Another actress, Kristie Gutierrez, says “It seems like it even speaks louder today than it did 10, 15 years ago, and it’s just a really important piece of theater that I think that each time we visit it during rehearsals, we just connect to more and more pieces of the show.”
Auburn Players Community Theater presents “The Laramie Project” on October 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30pm. It’s being stage at Auburn Public Theater on Exchange Street in downtown Auburn. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students and seniors and may be purchased by calling 315-253-6669.
Gutierrez adds, “I just hope that people can take away like a better understanding of like, you don’t really know what someone else is going through and to judge somebody without even knowing them I think is just like a really harsh climate that I feel like is sometimes is sort of still relevant today. Like people judge, people make assumptions and I think, I just really hope that people take away from this like we could all like connect with humanity just a little bit more if we could just find compassion like being honest with ourselves, being honest with others, and just really trying to show some compassion towards people that may have a difficult background or may come from just a background that is unlike yours.”