'The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later'

How do you measure change in a community?

'The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later'
Photo courtesy of Kirk Tuck

A young man savagely beaten, then tied to a fence and left to die, which he did, sadly, six days later. If the murder of Matthew Shepard shocked you as deeply as it did so many around the world, you may find it difficult to believe that more than a decade has passed since that tragic incident occurred. But it has, and that passage of time prompted members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project – whose interviews with the residents of Shepard's hometown formed the basis of their play The Laramie Project – to return to Laramie last year and find out how the town had changed in the years since the murder, to ask, "How do you measure change in a community?" Through new interviews with Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard; with Matthew's murderer, Aaron McKinney, now serving two consecutive life sentences for the crime; and with other Laramie residents, Tectonic's Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber fashioned an epilogue, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.

On Oct. 12, the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, this piece will be performed in New York City at Lincoln Center and in more than 150 other theatres across all 50 states and in Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong, and Australia. Austin will take part in this global event, with Zach Theatre, the first company to stage The Laramie Project locally, mounting The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later on the Kleberg Stage this Monday, Oct. 12, at 7pm. Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley has reassembled most of the original all-star cast from Zach's award-winning 2002 production, including Jaston Williams, Sarah Richardson, Martin Burke, Jenny Larson, Janelle Buchanan, and Meredith McCall. Tickets are $20, with all proceeds benefiting Out Youth, a nonprofit that offers peer support groups, counseling, educational programs, social activities, and community outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth ages 12 to 19 in Central Texas.

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later will be performed Monday, Oct. 12, 7pm, on the Zach Theatre Kleberg Stage, 1421 E. Riverside. For more information, call 476-0541 x1 or visit www.laramieproject.org or www.zachtheatre.org.

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The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Matthew Shepard, Zach Theatre, Dave Steakley, Jaston Williams, Martin Burke, Moisés Kaufman

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