As Laramie is Revisited, Hate Crimes Bill Passes House


Several days before the 11th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard, the US House of Representatives has voted to expand the definition of hate crimes to include crimes committed against gay men and lesbians.

The new measure, The Times reported this morning, was approved by the House right before a weekend when gay rights will be a focus in Washington, with a march to the Capitol and a speech by President Obama to the Human Rights Campaign.

And on Monday, in more than 100 cities around the world – and at least two in the bay area -- there will be a staged readings of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later."

Bay Area theater goers can attend readings on either side of the Bay bridge:  at Berkeley Rep and the Magic Theater.

The production, is a decade-after follow up to “The Laramie Project,” Moises Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project’s documentary drama, the result of  200 interviews with Laramie residents in the year that followed Matthew Shepard’s murder.

Kaufman et al. have now created The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later,  about the murder’s long term effects on the town and society at large. The staged reading  will be on the 11th anniversary of Shepard’s murder, simultaneously around the world  -- in all 50 states, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, and Spain.

The “anniversary ” epilogue includes new interviews with Matthew’s mother Judy Shepard and Mathew’s murderer Aaron McKinney, who’s serving dual life sentences, as well as follow-up interviews with many of the individuals from the original piece.

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