College Theater presented a staged reading of The Laramie Project Sept 29, Sept. 30, and Oct. 1 at the Williams Center for the Arts. The Laramie Project depicts the events surrounding the death of Matthew Shepard, a young, gay university student who in 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo.
Directed by Suzanne Westfall, professor of English, the three-act play chronicles the life of the town in the year after the murder and explores how Shepard’s death changed the ways Americans think about gay people. The performances were followed by discussion sessions where audience members could share their thoughts and feelings about the issues raised by the play.
Guests at the Saturday night performance were Shepard’s cousins Jim Peck and Rev. Anne E. Kitch (who preached at his funeral) and Brian Chisolm, an old friend and schoolmate of Shepard.