Calling all Theater companies and performers!

Open Call to Theater companies, performers, researchers:
I would like to hear other voices besides my own on this blog. If you'd like to write about your TLP experiences here, e-mail them to me and I'll put them up.
Topics can include dramaturgy to staging to personal responses to the play. Anything goes!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Cannot BELIEVE What I'm Looking At...

Governor of Wyoming, originally uploaded by micdsphotos.

Okay, so I've spent a lot of time prowling Flickr over the last few weeks looking at theater shoots of TLP and TLP: 10 Years Later just to look at things like staging and whatnot. For the most part, I've been rather impressed at what I've seen, and it's ranged from full-scale professional productions to shoestring budget high school productions. And then I ran into this and just about gagged.  I now know how bad a bad production of The Laramie Project can actually get. 

The cultural travesty you're looking at above is from a St. Louis production of The Laramie Project in 2008 put on by the Mary Institute and St. Louis Day School (yes, I'm calling them out). You can view the entire set here if you like (and hilarity will ensue).   If I can believe the caption, that's supposed to be the former Governer of Wyoming, Jim Geringer, pictured above. What.  The.  Heck. 

First of all, what the hell is this guy wearing? Even the Brushpopper shirts that got really popular about fifteen years ago, which can be pretty darn loud, aren't usually this extreme.   I haven't seen anybody wear a shirt that ugly outside of a rodeo ring or southwestern Texas (I mean, the embroidery and cut do have a traditional Tejano flair to them, no?).  And then there's the snaps.  It's a freaking snap shirt.  Anymore, snap shirts are mostly for old people with sore fingers like my father or fratboy Kid Rock wannabes who like to pretend they're all cowboy in their beat-up straw hats and ostrich skin boots.  And then the hat....  it's got to be at least one full size too big for his head.  Besides, usually those enormous ten-gallon affairs only show up on Texans; if you wear a sail that big that on your head in the Wyoming wind, you're just asking to lose it.  And a bolo tie?  With a concho on it?  If you dress like that in Wyoming and you're under a certain age, it's usually because you're trying to play it up.  You know, at a rodeo or a livestock auction.  It's just not a part of the everyday wardrobe anymore. 

Second of all, where the hell did he dredge up those glasses? I mean, seriously? Highway patrolman reflective aviator's glasses? With that sneer on his face, he looks like Cartman off of South Park taking about people "disrespectin' his authoritah."  (Although I have to admit, I thought I saw a picture of Doc Connor wearing a pair of those once.)  It's like that scene in Back to the Future 3 where Doc dresses Marty up like a rhinestone cowboy in a fringed lamé shirt to go back in time and Doc reassures him with something like, "Of course this is accurate.  I based this outfit on painstaking research."  (Please tell me somebody else remembers that movie...)

Okay, so I know that this is a (big budget) high school production, so I shouldn't get too wrapped around the axle about this.  But there was an adult directing this thing, right?  You know, one that knows the difference between an insulting, culturally insensitive parody of Wyoming and an insulting, culturally insensitive parody of Texas?

Anyhow, I had better shut up. But just to add to the jocularity, here's a picture of the REAL former Governer of Wyoming, Jim Geringer, with no bolo, no sunglasses, and no cowboy hat.  No kidding:

Keynote Speaker, Geringer, originally uploaded by WyGISC. (via Flickr.)

This rant has been provided for your reading enjoyment by a very indignant Wyoming Jackrabbit.   Thankyouverymuch.  


  1. Not only are you not the only one who remembers BttF3, you're not the only one to be reminded of Marty's getup in this context. :-D

    I wasn't able to quash quite all the hats I disagreed with in our suburban Chicago milieu, but I did manage to get the bolo tie restricted to Gil Engen, whom we were at least presenting as of an appropriate age. And I was very thankful our director made it clear he'd pulled the poly-cotton eyesore that gave me flashbacks to square dancing in the late 70s from stock as a joke! Which unfortunately had to be explained to a couple folks. *facepalm*

  2. Valerie, I would LOVE to hear about costuming, props, and staging from an insider's perspective! I smell a great post brewing there if you want to take up the challenge. ;)