By Destinee Patterson, E23 Reporter

Today, hate has become an issue that everyone wants to confront. In the Trump era, many people have found the confidence to speak about the hate they have always felt, while others have made moves to end it.

Directed by Cat Gleason, “The Laramie Project” is a play that addresses hate, specifically toward the gay and lesbian community. Based in the late 1990s in the city of Laramie, Wyoming, the play confronts the town’s issues with hate and how the citizens deal with it when it scars their small town.

This scarring moment is the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay student attending the University of Wyoming. One night, he went out to a bar, and by its end, two young men brutally attacked Shepard and left him taped to a fence where he entered a coma. Six days later, he died in intensive care.

The question then became: what will the punishment be for the young men that have committed this hate crime?

“The Laramie Project” deals with this question and the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you are not familiar with Shepard’s death, the play can be a little confusing. It even covers how the event itself was turned into a play. Just that could make your head spin.

“The Laramie Project” centers around interviews with people from Laramie, and each actor plays multiple characters. The actors need to be able to switch their character quickly and drastically in order for the audience to understand what character they are playing. At times, I found myself feeling lost as an audience member.

Fortunately, this is not as big of an issue as it could have been. The actors and actresses of the MU Department of Theatre do a good job of playing at least three different characters. It could have easily been a jumbled mess.

Overall, this production is one that requires time and attention. It runs about two and a half hours long, including the two intermissions. Like most plays, dialogue is more prominent than action, but ultimately, “The Laramie Project” tells a story that everyone should hear. I would definitely recommend to go out and see it.

Tickets are $15 for MU students and the show is located on campus in the Rhynsburger Theatre by Memorial Union. Check it out.

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