Even after 15 years, Matthew Shepard's story is still being spread. The citizens of Laramie, Wyoming tell a significant part of his story. Interboro High School shared the story through their moving production of The Laramie Project.
Written by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, the play was created using real-life interviews from Laramie residents and media accounts after the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student. In the play, each actor plays multiple parts and remains on the stage the whole time—minor costume changes included. The show portrays the people of Laramie, Wyoming and their reactions to the murder as accurately as possible.
Interboro did a great job with the flow and the pacing of each scene in the play. The narrator, played by Pat Cashin, was particularly helpful throughout the play to keep track of all of the characters. Each actor effectively assumed the role of each character that they played. Each actor must have worked hard on character development, and that hard work showed.
Jeff Ebner, who portrayed Tectonic Theater Project's Greg Pierotti, started the show strong with a commanding presence, and Ebner transitioned into new characters flawlessly. Paul Bilardo, who played Andy Paris, another member of the theater troupe, showed so much seemingly genuine emotion, especially in his parts as Aaron Kriefels and Russell Henderson. Nick Pfaff played Jedidiah Shultz quite convincingly, and especially shone in his portrayal of Dennis Shepard, Matthew Shepard's father.
Dorian Bean, who played Doc O'Connor, brought some humor to the serious play as the straightforward limousine driver. Also, Jayant Karna was captivating in his role as Dr. Rulon Stacey, and Karna really captured the emotion behind the doctor that worked on Matthew Shepard after he was found and his daily updates. Although some actors spoke quickly, their facial expressions and emotions were easy to read and helped to understand what was going on.
Although the actors were sometimes hard to hear because they did not have microphones, microphones on stage helped, and most actors projected their voices well. Besides the fence in the middle of the stage, there was no set. However, the simplicity made the show feel more intimate.
From beginning to end, Interboro's production of The Laramie Project captured my attention as well as my emotions.