Two Planks Theater Company announces auditions for their student Winter Theater Workshop Production of Moises Kaufman’s play The Laramie Project.
Actors ages 14-25 are encouraged to audition.
Audition Dates: Friday, 10/12 from 2-5 PM, Saturday, 10/13 from 11-1 PM, Friday, October 19 from 3-5 PM and Saturday October 20 from 12-2 PM at the United Methodist Church, 515 Cutlers Farm Road, Monroe CT
Directed by Susan Halliwell
Please sign up for an audition time here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d45a9aa2aa1fc1-twoplanks
Actors are asked to prepare one monologue from the list below. They may also be asked to read from the script. All who audition will be cast in one or more roles in this production.
Rehearsals begin Monday, 11/26/18
Evening schedule (2-3 evenings per week) TBD, Sundays, 2-6 PM
Performance dates: February 15, 16, 22, 23 at 8 PM
This is a tuition based program with a program fee of $400/actor. Actors are welcome to participate in our program advertising initiative and offset a portion of their program tuition. Payment plans are available upon request.
A minimum of 17 participants are needed for this program to run. Two Planks Theater Company reserves the right to cancel the program should we not attain this minimum.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-613-7454
Please note: We strongly recommend you read at least part of the play prior to auditions. The play is also available for viewing on YouTube. There are many news articles and editorials available online.
Although the audition monologues can be understood on their own, the more you know of the play and its characters the better able you will be to show you are right for a role in the show.
There are roles in The Laramie Project for 20-26 actors. Some of the actors may play multiple roles.
The Laramie Project deals with very serious subject matter in an honest and forthright manner. It contains descriptions of violence, discussions of homosexuality and some minor adult language. If you are unsure about whether you or your family is comfortable with all of the content in the show, it is important that you read the script and discuss whether or not it is right for you before auditions!
Synopsis: In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard, and he was the victim of this assault because he was gay. Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Matthew. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some people interviewed were directly connected to the case, and others were citizens of Laramie. The breadth of their reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences. The “Laramie Project” is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which people can sink and the heights of compassion to which humanity can rise.
The Laramie Project is a series of word-for-word real-life interviews conducted with the people in the town of Laramie, Wyoming. It is both a retelling of the events that transpired and a portrait of the residents and town in the year following Matthew’s murder.
The Laramie Project is an ensemble play; many actors will play multiple roles, and while some roles are larger than others, every actor in the play has an important part in the telling of the story.
My understanding when I first came here is that I was the first “out” lesbian or gay faculty member on campus. And that was in 1992. So, that wasn’t that long ago. Um, I was asked at my interview what my husband did, um, and so I came out then…Do you want a funny story? When you first get here as a new faculty member, there’s all these things you have to do. And so, I was in my office and I noticed that this woman called…I was expecting, you know, it was a health-insurance phone call, something like that, and so I called her back. And I could hear her. She’s working on her keyboard, clicking away—I said, you know, “This is Catherine Connolly returning your phone call.” And she said, “Oh, it’s you.” And I thought, “This is bizarre.” And she said, “I hear—I hear—I hear you’re gay. I hear you are.” I was like, “Uh huh.” And she said, “I hear you came as a couple. I’m one too. Not a couple, just a person.” And so—she was—a kind of lesbian who knew I was coming and she wanted to come over and meet me immediately. And later she told me that there were other lesbians that she knew who wouldn’t be seen with me. That I would irreparably taint them, that just to be seen with me could be a problem.
And it was so good to be with people who felt like shit. I kept feeling like I don’t deserve to feel this bad, you know? And someone got up there and said to us – he said um, blah blah blah blah blah blah and then he said, I’m saying it wrong, but basically he said, c’mon guys, lets show the world that Laramie is not this kind of town. But it is that kind of town. If it wasn’t this kind of town, why did this happen here? I mean, you know what I mean, like – that’s a lie. Because it happened here. So how could it not be a town where this kind of thing happens? Like, that’s just totally – like, looking at an Escher painting and getting all confused like, it’s totally like circular logic, like how can you even say that? And we have to mourn this and we have to be sad that we live in a town, a state, a country where shit like this happens. I mean, these are people trying to distance themselves from this crime. And we need to own this crime. I feel. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. We ARE like this. WE are LIKE this.
When I came here I knew it was going to be hard as a gay man. But I kept telling myself, people should live where they want to live. And there would be times I would go down to Denver and I would go to gay bars and, um, people would ask where I was from and I’d say, “Laramie, Wyoming.” And I met so many men who grew up here and they’re like, this is not a place where I can live, how can you live there, I had to get out, grr, grr, grr. But every once in a while there would be a guy, “Oh gosh, I miss Laramie. I mean, I really love it there, that’s where I want to live. And they get this starry-eyed look and I’m like, if that’s where you want to live, do it. I mean, imagine if more gay people stayed in small towns… But it’s easier said than done, of course.
Well, on the second of October, I get a phone call about, uh, ten after seven. It was Matthew Shepard. And he said, “Can you pick me up at the corner of Third and Grand?” So, Anyhow, I pull up to the corner, to see who Matthew Shepard, you know. It’s a little guy, about five-two, soakin’ wet, I betcha ninety-seven pounds tops. They say he weighed a hundred and ten, but I wouldn’t believe it. They also said he was five-five in the newspapers, but this man, he was really only about five-two, maybe five-one. So he walks up to the window- I’m gonna try and go in steps so you can better understand the principle of this man. So he walks up to the window, and I say, “Are you Matthew Shepard?” And he says, “Yeah, I’m Matthew Shepard. But I don’t want you to call me Matthew or Mr. Shepard. I don’t want you to call me anything. My name is Matt. And I want you to know, I am gay and we’re going to go to a gay bar. Do you have a problem with that?” And I said, “How’re you payin’?”
The fact is… Laramie doesn’t have any gay bars… and for that matter neither does Wyoming… so he was hiring me to take him down to Fort Collins, Colorado, about an hour away.
Matt was a blunt little shit, you know what I’m sayin’? – he always was. But I liked him because he was straightforward, you see what I’m saying?
Russell was just so sweet. He was the one who was the Eagle Scout. I mean, his whole presence was just quiet and sweet. So of course it doesn’t make sense to me and I know people snap and whatever and like it wasn’t a real intimate relationship, I was just his landlord. I did work with him at the Chuck Wagon too. And I remember like at the Christmas party he was just totally drunk out of his mind, like we all were pretty much just party-party time… And he wasn’t belligerent, he didn’t change, his personality didn’t change. He was still the same little meek Russell, I remember him coming up to me and saying, “When you get a chance, Sherry, can I have a dance?” Which we never did get around to doing that but… Now I just want to shake him, you know—What were you thinking? What in the hell were you thinking?
I must tell you that when I first heard that you were thinking of coming here, when you first called me, I wanted to say you’ve just kicked me in the stomach. Why are you doing this to me? But then I thought, that’s stupid, you’re not doing this to me. And more importantly, I thought about it and decided that we’ve had so much negative closure on this whole thing. And the students really need to talk. When this happened they started talking about it, and then the media descended and all dialogue stopped. You know, I really love my students because they are free thinkers—and you may not like what they have to say, and you may not like their opinions, because they can be very redneck, but they are honest and they’re truthful—so there’s an excitement here, there’s a dynamic here with my students that I never had when I was in the Midwest or in South Dakota, because there, there was so much Puritanism that dictated how people looked at the world that a lot of times they didn’t have an opinion, you couldn’t get them to express an opinion. And quite honestly, I’d rather have opinions that I don’t like—and have that dynamic in education.
So I went to the theatre department of the university, looking for good scenes, and I asked one of the professors – I was like, “I need – I need a killer scene,” and he was like, “Here you go, this is it.” And it was from Angels in America.
So I read it, and I knew that I could win best scene if I did a good enough job. And when the time came, I told my mom and dad so that they would come to the competition. Now you have to understand, my parents go to everything – every ball game, every hockey game – everything I’ve ever done. And they brought me to their room, and told me that if I did that scene, that they would not come to see me in the competition. Because they believed that it is wrong – that homosexuality is wrong – they felt that strongly about it that they didn’t want to come see their son do probably the most important thing he’d done to that point in his life. And I didn’t know what to do. I had never gone against my parents’ wishes. So I was kind of worried about it. But I decided to do it. And all I can remember about the competition is that when we were done, me and my scene partner, we came up to each other and we shook hands and there was a standing ovation. Oh, man, it was amazing! And we took first place, and we won. And that’s how I can afford to be here at the university, because of that scene. It was one of the best moments of my life. And my parents weren’t there.
And to this day, that was the one thing that my parents didn’t see me do.