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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Laramie Sparkles: The Opening Night Reception for The Laramie Project Cycle

The Opening Night Reception for The Laramie Project Cycle took place on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.
(L-R) Special guest Emma Johnson of the Johnson Family Foundation, and Moisés Kaufman, artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project 
(Photo: Elena Olivo)
"Why does this play continue to be performed all over the country?"
Director Moisés Kaufman of Tectonic Theater Project shared this question with guests at last night's opening night reception for The Laramie Project CycleIndeed, The Laramie Project is one of the top 10 most performed plays in America and though it recounts events that happened more than 14 years ago—the brutal killing of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998—the play clearly continues to be highly topical. Read more about the opening night reception and Moisés Kaufman's question below, and share your thoughts in comments!

BAMfans (all members in their 20s and 30s), Generation Advance, and the Producers Council were invited to attend the opening night party. To learn more about this and other membership opportunities please visit us at

Company members of Tectonic Theater Project. (L-R) Andy Paris, Stephen Belber, Libby King, Michael Winther,
Moisés  Kaufman, Barbara Pitts, Greg Pierotti, Amanda Gronich, and Mercedes Herrero (Photo: Elena Olivo)
The reception began directly following the first performance of Part 1 of the cycle: The Laramie Project. Part 2: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later opens tonight, completing the repertory premiere of the cycle in New York. Company members joined guests in the lobby of the BAM Harvey Theater for a lovely evening celebrating this historic production. Beautiful decór by Fleurs Bella featured the Wyoming state flower, the indian paintbrush. Brooklyn Gin crafted a specialty cocktail, the "City of the Plain," which had a nice spicy ginger beer kick. 

Back to the top... Moisés answered his own question about Laramie's continued relevance quite simply: "Because we, as a democratic culture, continue to fight each other." 

Here's a little more context. During the reception Moisés also told the story of when he was 17 and decided that he wanted to be an actor. His father was very much against it and dismissed the idea, saying that "the theater is full of prostitutes and homosexuals." Moisés recalls thinking, "don't let him see how much that idea excites me!" Tectonic Theater Company is interested in investigating the very nature of live performance by questioning, "What can happen on the stage?" 

At the reception, Moisés said that in the case of The Laramie Project a key discovery was that through theater "we can participate in a national dialogue." It would seem that The Laramie Project continues to be performed so regularly because the national dialogue it takes part in continues, and quite vigorously. Performance can be an act of defiance. Seventee-year-old Moisés saw this and millions of others continue to see that in the The Laramie Project today.

Find some excellent context about the production in this past blog post.

(L-R) Erika Floreska, Executive Director of Tectonic Theater Project; Emma Johnson, of the Johnson Family Foundation
Mark Stephanz, of Bank of America; Moisés Kaufman, Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project
Joseph V. Melillo, BAM Executive Producer; Matthew Bregman, BAM Vice President of Development (Photo: Elena Olivo)
BAMfans enjoying the Brooklyn Gin cocktail (Photo: Elena Olivo)

Decór featured the Wyoming state flower, the indian paintbrush. (Photo: Elena Olivo)

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