Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lessons from Laramie

I recently had the experience of being in the audience of the play, The Laramie Project. I joined a full house of fellow theater goers appreciate a cast of amazing actors tell the story of a real life account of a town's reaction to a brutal beating and eventual death of a young homosexual man. This hate crime, although it took place in Laramie Wyoming, could have occurred anywhere. To me, this was not just a lesson about a lack of tolerance for homosexuality, but about addressing our fears of living together in a world of different races, religious beliefs, opinions, and life styles.

Following this poignant and well told story, the audience was invited to stay for a "Talk Back" with the actors. This is an opportunity to discuss the experience of the play's message and to express our views, emotions and lessons learned.

It was interesting to hear what struck each of those that spoke. I was pleased to see how a theatrical production can be the round table for a discussion about some very challenging issues.

Seeing and hearing the heart wrenching story seemed to be what caused us all to pause and feel the sadness that hate creates.

I imagine that conversations about intolerance and even hate are still occurring by all those that witnessed this dramatic story. I know I'm still thinking about it.

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