“The Laramie Project” by Moises Kaufman
Directed by Zina Carman
The Laramie Project is a powerful drama based on actual events in the town of Laramie, Wyoming in the United States. In 1998, the brutal murder of gay university student Matthew Shepard attracted worldwide attention and prompted playwright Moises Kaufman to ask, “Is theatre a medium that can contribute to the national dialogue on current events?”. As a result, Kaufman and 10 members of the Tectonic Theatre Company travelled to Laramie six times over a period of 18 months and conducted over 200 interviews to explore the impact of the crime upon the town and its people, and to provide a commentary on the social issues of class, culture, and sexuality. The interviews from this small town provide raw insights into an event that changed many lives. The Laramie Project is not about homosexuality or even primarily about Matthew himself. The play has a relevance way beyond its small town origins and challenges us to examine our beliefs and behaviours as individuals and as a community. As documentary theatre, it lays before the audience what happened in the case of Matthew’s murder and how the people of Laramie, and the world, responded. It is left up to you, the individual, to decide how you feel about what happened.
Zina Carman – Director
Preview show May 15 at 8:00pm
Performances May 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8:00 pm, Sunday matinee: May 21 at 2:00pm
Tickets online at www.trybooking.com
Adults: $21 Concession: $17 Preview $12
Review of our 2016 production : “Humble Boy”
Victorian Drama League 2016
DIRECT TALK ………. with director of The Laramie Project, Zina Carman
Why did you choose The Laramie Project as your first directing experience with TTT?
As a director, you look for a play that inspires you and excites a creative response within you. The Laramie Project had that effect upon me. I am gripped by the relevance of the play to contemporary society as it addresses the differences in attitudes to societal values. It is more than an exploration of attitudes to homosexuality; it is a play about prejudices. It makes us question our attitudes to all moral issues.
What do you believe will be your biggest challenge in bringing this play to the stage?
There are many challenges in bringing this play to the stage, the foremost of which is to make the play visually interesting without detracting from the words. Keeping the integrity of the play is paramount, as these are the words, not of a playwright, but of real people, most of whom are still alive.
As an actor, what has been your most memorable role? And why?
Mrs Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Why? Because she was a feisty, flirty character, the leading man was a spunk and I got to sing a solo on stage!
As a director, what play has given you the greatest satisfaction? And why?
The Fifteen Streets, an adaptation of the novel by Catherine Cookson. Why? Because it was a big drama with a large cast with many different and challenging scenes, such as a drowning, a skating scene and a fight scene. I was extremely moved by the audience member who made the comment, “It got to the end and I wanted it to start all over again.”
As a theatregoer, what play(s) have made the greatest impression on you?
I have enjoyed many plays over the years. Some purely for their entertainment value – the comedies and farces. But the plays that make the greatest lasting impression are the ones that elicit an emotional response. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler immediately springs to mind. One play that I did not particularly like while watching it, but which made a lasting impression on me, was Furious Mattress by Melissa Reeves. It is interesting that both these plays are based on real events.
What do you do to wind down after an intense rehearsal session?
I am always fired up after a rehearsal, so I usually go home, drive my husband senseless by discussing what went right or wrong at rehearsal, work on the play for a while, then watch some mindless television before going to bed.
Which AFL team do you follow?
What is AFL? (chuckles) I am sorry! I am aware of AFL but I am not a follower. I do occasionally take a look at what Hawthorn is up to as my brother is an ardent supporter.
Why should audiences come to see The Laramie Project?
Torquay Theatre Troupe is known for producing good plays and doing them well. The Laramie Project is one such play. It is a powerful documentary drama based on actual events which bring into focus social issues of prejudice and inequality within society. Audiences will be challenged by this play, will relate to one or more of the characters, and go away with food for thought. What more can one ask of a theatre experience?
“Love is in the Air”. Remember this?
Terry Roseburgh and Michael Lambkin at the Anglesea One Act Play Festival after taking out the award for Second Best Play and Michael the award for Best Male Actor in Sandy Fairthorn’s play The Knowing. It was a day of celebrations for the Troupe as they took out seven awards that day including Best Production for God Willing directed by Michael Baker and Best Female Actor for Lisa Berry in God Willing. The Knowing also won Best Original Script for Sandy.
Did you know……..?
‘Chookas’ is a word you will hear bandied around backstage in most Australian theatres. It is uniquely Australian and came into being in the JC Williamson music hall days in early 1900s. Chicken was regarded as a treat, the most expensive dish on a menu. Actors were paid depending on the box office takings, a full house meant a good pay packet ergo chicken for dinner! The cry ‘chook it is’ to indicate a full house was shortened to ‘chookas’, and eventually used by performers to wish each other good luck.