One World Theatre’s version of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (with stories from the Nepali LGBTIQ Community) started this Friday, at the Nepal Tourism Board in the Capital. The play is directed jointly by Bruno Deceukelier and Rajkumar Pudasaini.
The Laramie Project narrates the reactions brought about by the notorious killing of a 21-year-old gay man, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, US, in 1998. The play was first conceived by the Tectonic Theatre Project, as a project, in the aftermath of the murder, when the members of the project visited Laramie and collected interviews of family, friends, police officers and the murderers to research the case. The play, a montage of sorts that includes opinions by the interviewees, leads the audiences through Shepard’s background, his killing, and the ripples it sent to the social and political spheres across the world. The Nepali version of the play, tagged Hate is Not a Nepali Value, will blend the original play with the voices and experiences of the Nepali LGBTQI community.
“What difference does a hideous homophobic hate crime make ten years later and how do Nepali lesbians, gay and transgender relate to it?” the producers ask in an introduction to this year’s interpretation. “These performances provide an opportunity for audiences, students, journalists and policymakers to reflect on and debate important social issues: HIV, LGBTIQ rights, anti-hate crime legislation, the role of media and how communities attempt to define themselves and rewrite their past.”
The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is being staged at Nepal Tourism Board till May 28, every day at 5:30pm. Ticket outlets: Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nina’s (Maharajgunj), Dhokaima Café.