Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives last week to honor The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, a play written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project about the reaction to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was targeted due to his sexual orientation.
The critically acclaimed original play was based on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town, company members' own journal entries and published news reports. Ten years later, the playwright and members of the theater group returned to Laramie to conduct follow-up interviews with residents featured in the play. Those interviews were turned into a companion piece, entitled The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.
The play will debut as a reading at nearly 100 theatres across the US and internationally on October 12, 2009 - the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. The Seattle Repertory Theater is one of the theatres participating in the debut of the play on October 12.
In addition to honoring the play and those participating, Rep. McDermott’s resolution expresses the will of Congress to condemn all violence acts motivated by hatred, including the torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, and commends the involvement of all Americans in building a more civil and tolerant society. The bill also congratulates the participants and patrons involved for continuing to engage in activities that raise awareness of hate crimes in our society.