US: Washington Ford’s Theatre to produce 15th Anniversary play on murdered Matthew Shepard

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The Ford’s Theatre in Washington is to produce a play called “The Laramie Project,” based on the young gay man Matthew Shepard murdered in a gay hate crime in 1998.

Ford’s Theatre announced its project will mark 15 years since Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was abducted and killed in Laramie, Wyoming, after being tied to a fence and savagely beaten.

“The Laramie Project,” presents the community’s response to the anti-gay murder and its surrounding media attention.

The play will run from Sept 27 to Oct 27, and will also offer programs about bullying and violence against LGBT people.

Associated Press reports the theatre will also feature an exhibit about the response to Shepard’s death, a candlelight vigil on Oct 11, as well as a discussion series, and readings of the companion play, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.”

Last month, a US filmmaker turned to Kickstarter to fund her feature film “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine,” a documentary to commemorate the passing of Shepard.

This upcoming feature tells the story of Matthew Shepard’s family and close friends.

Last year, in the first set of indictments that followed from a federal hate crime law which protects against attacks motivated by sexual orientation, two women from Kentucky pleaded guilty to helping in the kidnap and assault of a gay man.

The case marked the first use of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009.