This is the final weekend of performances (March 9-11) for DVA Productions’ staging of Moises Kaufman’s multi-character play The Laramie Project. DVA was started by actor-director-singer and former Jubilee Theatre mainstay Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, who feels very strongly about Kaufman’s sprawling collection of monologues. Actors play various Wyoming townspeople who were affected directly or indirectly by the horrifying murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. The words were drawn from real interviews.
You might be worried that The Laramie Project is some kind of obvious liberal rant about hate crimes. If you already know that it’s wrong to persecute gay people, then you might think the show has nothing interesting to say. But Kaufman’s play is very subtle, generous, and even-handed, letting a wide variety of people speak about subjects ––– including homosexuality, homophobia, and murder –– that many of them had never thought much about before. When done right, the script offers a fascinating series of character studies.