The Laramie Project: A Student’s Reaction to a Stirring Performance

the laramie projectVillanova Student Theater’s performance of The Laramie Project was so amazing, I can’t even begin to describe it. Granted, I’m a fan of theater. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. I’m a huge theater geek! But at least when I tell you that their performance of The Laramie Project was unlike anything I had seen before, you know it’s coming from an expert (albeit a self-proclaimed one).
Where can I start? The beginning? That’d take too long. At the end? That wouldn’t make any sense. Only mentioning the best parts? I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Don’t think I wrote this in jest; it oddly resembles the play itself, which doesn’t tell the story in a traditional timeline or follow any orthodox plot diagram. The entire story is told through selected snippets of interviews collected by the Tectonic Theater Group when they visited the small city of Laramie, Wyoming, shortly after the savage beating of the 21 year-old, gay college student, Matthew Shepard. I’d be more than happy to describe to you exactly how each actor and actress was able to flawlessly perform as a half a dozen different characters without it being confusing. How each time a performer left one of the eleven chairs that constituted the set to take their place on center stage and perform an awe-inspiring monologue as a different character in the play, the audience was left breathless. How a performance lasting the length of a Lord of the Rings movie could pass in an instant—but again, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. What I will tell you is that I’m happy to say that did it justice as only a theater group can. There are certain things that must be experienced to be understood and this beautifully tragic tale is one such thing. I’m most certainly glad to have seen it.
If you were one of those terribly unlucky people who wasn’t fortunate enough to watch a performance and whose life still remains unchanged from the breath-taking wonder of such a marvel-on-stage, I suggest you go and watch a sunrise or something in order to see something roughly equivalent in beauty to the play you missed. Just make sure you don’t miss out on any upcoming theatrical performances offered here at Villanova and be sure to take advantage of the multiple theaters on campus!

By Adam Butchy ’16

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