The Laramie Project

by Moisés Kaufman

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Why do the members of the company include themselves in "The Laramie Project" by Moises Kaufman?

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Part of the power in "The Laramie Project" is how the play engages in reflection, self reflection, analysis, and self analysis.  It is a study of what happened to Matt Shepard and a study of Laramie, but in the process it is an examination of self.  This would include the members of the company who are to portray characters from the town, examining their views.  However, given the emotional force of the incident and the passions on both sides, the actors cannot divorce themselves from such issues.  They are participants in this drama, the drama that they are presenting.  Part of this reason is because the issues that plagued Shepard and Laramie are also issues that plague all of America and Americans.  While we watch Laramie, we are watching ourselves, for we are left to ask what we would have done like Laramie and what we would have done differently.  The actors are much the same.  The process of analysis and self analysis are powerful components and having the actors be actual participants emphasizes the first person nature of the story.  The narrative of both Matt and Laramie involves us all.

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