Sunday, November 14, 2010
"The Laramie Project" is performed by Maryland high school; threatened Phelps protest is a no-show
I saw the play in 2002 (I believe) at the Tectonic Theater Project at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis, directed by Michael H. Robbins. The play comprises a lot of recitations from townspeople exploring the social factors that led to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard outside Laramie in October 1998. There are disturbing moments, such as a fear of HIV infection by the medical attendants. The play incorporates an anti-gay protest appearance by the group from Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS.
In fact, (and ironically) the group had threatened to protest the play last night but did not show up. Counter protests against Phelps had been planned. Cody Calamaio has a story in the Maryland Gazette (website url) here.
Phelps did not pickett the Minneapolis performance, but he did picket the All Gods Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis once, I think in 2003.
The Tectonic Theater has a YouTube video clip from a more recent performance, from 2008, here.
Wikipedia attribution link for Ames Monument. I visited Laramie in August 1994.
There is a review of the film "Fall from Grace" about Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church on the movies blog Oct. 6, 2010.