May 19, 2011
“How could this happen? I-I think a lot of people just don’t understand, and even I don’t really understand, how someone can do something like that. We have one of the most vocal populations of gay people in the State… And it’s pretty much: Live and let live.” The murder of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual college student, stunned the isolated town of Laramie and started a national uprising against hate crimes. Moíses Kaufman explores the murder in depth and tires to uncover the motives for which this heinous crime was committed. Laramie was described through the interviews that were conducted by the Tectonic Theater Project as a community where everybody was familiar with each other, and minded their own business. For this reason, the murder came as a shock and changed the “Gem of the Midwest”, into a town known for this terrible tragedy. Laramie seemed to be the melting pot of Wyoming, a place where diversity can live in peace. Moíses Kaufman’s point of the Laramie Project was that Matthew Shepard’s murder was an isolated incident, and could have happened anywhere because Laramie was a community with the “Live and let live” mentality, along with being tolerant with religious, sexual, and social diversity. The people Laramie and Patrick Buchannan appear to have the same view on acceptance, which is an open mind to a diverse society. In his essay “To Reunite a Nation”, he explores the obstacles that many immigrants needed to overcome to build the nation we have today, and how everybody should appreciate and have tolerance. Buchannan’s argument and Laramie’s views complement each other, which illustrates how the murder of Matthew Shepard’s murder was such a rare occurrence.
Throughout the play, we encounter several people with different religions, sexualities, and social statuses. A small town like Laramie with so much diversity is extremely difficult to attain because there is traditionally always...