A decade later, "The Laramie Project" finally hits the stage - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

A decade later, "The Laramie Project" finally hits the stage

"The Laramie Project" was brought out on the stage in Princeton on Saturday night. "The Laramie Project" was brought out on the stage in Princeton on Saturday night.
GIBSON CO., IN (WFIE) -

Original members of the Gibson County Theater Company and a number of volunteers from all over the Tri-State put on a staged reading of "The Laramie Project." 
 
But what makes the reading so special is that it took place a decade after it was scheduled to take the stage.

More than 70 people from Princeton, Vincennes, Evansville and other surrounding areas came together to put the performance on Saturday night. 

It tells the story of a young gay man killed in a hate crime.

Five of the people involved were founding members of the theater company, the group that wanted to present the play 10 years ago. 

"It's really about love and forgiveness and understanding," Rick Coleman said.

Coleman, Stacy Hurt, Jill Wright, Leslie Morgan, and Matt Hart came together 10 years ago in the hopes of putting on their first community play written about 21-year-old Matthew Shephard, a gay man abducted, beaten, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. 

But controversy around the Tri-State led them to reconsider. 

"Our community wasn't at a place where they were ready for this yet," Wright said. 

They've waited a decade for their chance to put the show on.

"Rather than fight that battle, we decided to wait to win the war," Morgan said. 

That opportunity finally came on Saturday night. 

 "So we always said we would put this on eventually, and here it is, 10 years and few months later and we're finally getting to do it," Hurt shared. 

They held a reader's theater performance at a Princeton church. Members of the community, some actors, and others getting on stage for the first time, took turns reading the lines moment by moment.  

For the original five, the play isn't about stirring the pot. 

"It's about hope. It's about love. It's about changing people," Wright shared. 

"You go in thinking it's a play about issues, but you soon realize it's a play about people," Hart said.

It's about making a positive impact on those willing to take it in.

After Saturday night's performance, the group had a question and answer discussion with the audience and then had a reception at a nearby bakery.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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