In October 1998, 21 year-old Mathew Shepard was found savagely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. “The Laramie Project” is the portrait of a town painfully forced to confront itself in the reflective glare of the national spotlight, responding with love, anger, sympathy, support and defiance.
The Laramie Project was created from over 200 interviews conducted with Laramie residents before, during, and after the trials of the two boys who killed Shepard; the interviews create an amazing cross-section of American views on homosexuality, religion, class, privacy, and so much more besides.
This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard’s visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of “Angels in America” a year after Shephard’s death.