Shuck and Jive

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus Is on the Wire

I just received this news:
“The Laramie Project” opens April 15 at Northeast State

A college student is attacked and left tied to a fence on a lonely western prairie – a murder that would thrust a quiet western town into the national spotlight.

The Mois├ęs Kaufman play "The Laramie Project" ” staged by the Northeast State Technical Community College Theatre Department this month tells the story of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard outside Laramie, Wyoming, and how local residents dealt with a hate crime happening in their town.

Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student registered at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a cattle fence, beaten, robbed, and left to die on a bitterly cold night. Eighteen hours later, he was discovered by a cyclist, who first thought the figure attached to the fence was a scarecrow. Shepard was rushed to a local hospital where he died several days later from his injuries. Two local men were charged with and convicted of the crime.

Based on more than 200 interviews conducted over 18 months, the play weaves together the events leading up to Shepard’s murder, the aftermath and trial of the killers, and reactions from the people of Laramie. The cast takes on multiple character roles of those interviewed to reveal the underpinnings of homosexuality, religion, class, education, non-traditional lifestyles, and what the crime meant in the cultural landscape of America.

“The Laramie Project” is a deeply moving theatrical experience that explores both the savage darkness and extraordinary compassion of humanity. The play is being directed by Michael Brown. The production contains mature subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Performances are scheduled April 15-18 at 7 p.m. and April 19 at 2:30 p.m. All performances are being staged in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Advance tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the Northeast State Business Office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets at the door are $8 general admission, $7 seniors (55+), $6 for groups of 10 or more. Admission is free to Northeast State students with a valid student ID.
For more information or to make reservations, please call 423.323.0258 or e-mail.

Here is Peter, Paul, and Mary, Jesus is on the Wire.

(Thea Hopkins)
Run down church
Red clay
River covered
In a smoky haze

Sunday morning
The fire is out
Sunday morning
No one about

The earth is soft
This time of year
Boots get caked
From there to here

Down the road
Route 25
They found this boy
He was barely alive

Jesus is on the wire
So far away, higher and higher
Jesus is on the wire

They took him down
Off the fence
Cold as ice
Almost dead
They said that he
That he slept with guys
They said that he
Deserved to die

Jesus is on the wire
So far away, higher and higher
Jesus is on the wire

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