sesquipedaliatic: Super smexy Ianto (Yes... yes)
Last night, I went to see a reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. It's pretty much what it sounds like; ten years after Mathrw Shepard's murder and the writing of The laramie Project, Tectonic went back to Laramie in 2008 to conduct more interviews in an attempt to see what/how/why the town has changed. But last night's performance was more than just a reading. It was one of 150 readings happening around the world of the same play at more or less the same time. It was the first time the play had been presented (indeed, Tectonic staged the NYC reading). To begin things, Moises Kaufman (introduced by Glenn Close and Judy Shepard!), the man in charge of it all, spoke to every audience via webcast and directed us all to tweet about the show. The reading was followed by a global talkback which also made use of webcasting and Twitter. And the play itself. Oh, the play. It made me think really hard about many things, including the tendency of activism to be incredibly narrow minded. It made me cry a couple of times, each time for a different reason: sadness, frustration, and joy. And perhaps most importantly, it made me astoundingly proud of my community.

THIS is what theatre is supposed to do.

One of the most difficult portions of the show was the interviews with the two murderers. During the interview, Aaron McKinney explains that he does have remorse, but not for the right reasons. He's sorry to Mr. Shepard for taking away his son, and he's sorry to his own father, who he describes as a wonderful father who he disappointed by being a "fuck up." But he's not exactly sorry about killing Mathew. When asked if he feels for Judy Shepard as well, McKinney says he is but "still, she never shuts up about it, and it's been like ten years."

Another reviewer more eloquently explains my thoughts on that moment and the following scene:

Of a number of affecting, alarming or inspiring moments in Ten Years Later, the one that really kicked me in the gut came shortly after, when Kaufman, portrayed here by Eddie Torres, asked Judy Shepard, played by Mary Beth Fisher, if she’d heard they had interviewed McKinney this time. Fisher gave Judy’s words a wry, brittle twist as she replied something like, “Yes. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say this time.” I paraphrase because I was too gobsmacked to take notes as I realized that at approximately that very moment, the Lincoln Center attendees were watching an actor speak those words of Judy’s while the real Judy Shepard sat among them, having just heard McKinney’s heartless dismissal of her tenacity.


So that's a Laramie. A small town that happened to be the sight of a brutal hate crime. The catalyst for a great deal of gay activism and anti hate crime legislation (ok, we haven't actually managed the legislation part). An astoundingly powerful pair of plays.
sesquipedaliatic: Super smexy Ianto (Yes... yes)
Lots of things in my head tonight. I saw a really good show at Round House with a bunch of other interns-- a modern-ish adaptation of Dorian Grey. Among other things, they had a BEAUTIFUL double turntable that was incredibly smooth. and they used it SO WELL. There were two moments in particular that earned seat-flailing from me and vocal appreciation from the audience. Just turntable movements, mind you! And the car ride back was filled with the bubbly sort of "Oh, and that moment was AWESOME!" "Yeah, but I'm not sure how I feel about this choice." "Oh, it worked for me once this one thing happened; then it clicked" conversation that I love. There's one point in the show where Dorian says something to the effect of "art doesn't make people do things; it merely reflects our potential for committing evil acts" only he says it with more grace and passion. The line falls flat, as it should, because not one character or audience member (and at that point, not even Dorian) believes it, given the events of the play. But as I suspect it was intended to do, the line made me think about a show's responsibility to its audience as well as an audience's responsibility to a show. Nothing new or profound on either front, but mah brainz are spinnin'. Oh theatre, I love you.

And then I came back and drank wine with one of the artistic directors and heard her stories of touring shows in Germany before the wall came down. Oh theatre, I love you.

Before all this happened, I got to walk through the Night Must Fall set for the first time. My first walk through is one of those silly magical moments that always makes me giddy and eager for techs to start. Suddenly, everything theoretical is real. There's a real window! And look at the texture on the floor! And oh, wow, here's how that wonky entrance will work! Sure, the set's not done, costumes aren't finished, and I haven't seen a hint of lights or sound. But set walk through means we might just have a show.

(Say it with me now.) Oh theatre, I love you.

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