Today, October 12, marks the eleventh anniversary of the passing of Matthew Shepard (right), the young and openly gay Wyoming man whose death he was beaten and tortured, tied to a fence and left to die made international headlines as a watershed moment that highlighted the violence and prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people face.
It also led to the creation of The Laramie Project, the original stage work (by Moisés Kaufman and the NYC-based Tectonic Theater Project) assembled from transcripted interviews with the people of the community in which Shepard lived and died. The oft-produced play had one of its first major revivals here in Monmouth County, and generated both local controversy and national news in 2007 when a production by an area high school came under fire by its principal and superintendent.
A decade-plus after the incident on the outskirts of Laramie, Kaufman and company have returned with an update, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, An Epilogue. As the title spells out, it’s the product of a return visit to the community (complete with contributions by Shepard’s convicted killer), and it’s being staged today in more than 100 venues around the world including the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College. Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit has the details on this one-time presentation, here in the foothills of another working week.