by Robert Bell
'THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
Mention Laramie, Wyo., and many people will immediately think of the brutal 1998 torture and murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard at the hands of Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, who targeted Shepard because he was gay.
The murder sparked a national discussion about hate crimes and inspired several songs, films and plays, including "The Laramie Project," by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project. The play was based on news stories and scores of interviews with people from Laramie about the incident. This follow-up is based on interviews with people from Laramie, as well as Shepard's mother and murderers, conducted a decade later.
The Weekend Theater's production is sponsored by several area churches, including Canvas Community Church, Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, Open Door Community Church, and New Beginnings Church of Central Arkansas. The director, Duane Jackson, also helmed the theater's production of the first Laramie Project play a few years back. The show runs Friday and Saturday nights through Jan. 28.