The Laramie Project
Ethnic and cultural value forms a major theme in the play by Moises Kaufman, The Laramie Project. Members of the tectonic Theatre team acted this play. The play is about the murder of Matthew Shepherd, the main character who was killed while 21 years old. He was murdered because he was a gay, a culture that was viewed at as a crime.
The play depicts Matthew as a student at the university. He was a representative of a culture that was considered unethical and illegal by most residents of Laramie, Wyoming. This was a culture of the gays. As such, most people under the leadership of Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney decided to frustrate this minority group. They planned to kidnap Matthew and then tie him up so that he can be beaten thoroughly. They did this and Matthew was critically injured. He died five days later after being put in a coma for those five days after the beating. This murder angered the Laramie city’s citizens especially because of the fact that lesbians and gays’ rights have been supported strongly by America.
In this play, Kaufman appears to highlight challenges that lesbians and gays face in the contemporary society. They are discriminated against by the other members of the society because they consider them as promoters of a contrary culture. Due to the death of Matthew, several protests were staged in the entire country with lesbians and gays as well as their supporters sending a clear message that they demand respect for their rights. Kaufman uses this play to highlight the major issues using the words of the characters. He uses their voices to represent the voices of gays as well as those of the minority groups in the society that are treated with contempt just because they are different.
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