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Monday, March 28, 2011

Links: Kaufman's take on "10 Years Later" in "American Theater"

When studying The Laramie Project, usually the first starting point for studying the play are two articles written by Don Shewey and Moisés Kaufman published in American Theatre.  With the premiere of 10 Years Later came yet another article from Kaufman about the project, again published in AT.  Like his previous work, this article is also an expository work explaining the process of producing the play, from its first inception, changes to the process, and its final form as a worldwide Internet linkup premiere.  I'm not entirely sure how helpful Kaufman's explanation is for explaining the whole process behind the creation of 10 Years Later in reality, but it is surely a great exploration of what Kaufman thought they were doing as they interviewed Laramie residents and former residents again, ten years after Matthew's murder.  It makes his investments, beliefs and goals for the new epilogue very clear for the researcher. 

One thing I found interesting is that Kaufman claims that this new play "deals with history" and how it's created, which is quite different from the first play's goal.  That's fair enough, but he talks (again) about the emergence of the robbery narrative as if it started after the fact, an attempt to re-write history-- and as I have pointed out repeatedly from my little soapbox in this little corner of the Interwebs, the robbery narrative arose at the exact same time as the hate crime narrative.  Oh well.  He also calls his re-interviews with DeBree and Dave O'Malley as an attempt to "clarify the facts."  That may be the most interesting comment I've heard Kaufman make in print so far.

Nevertheless, how and why someone chooses one narrative over another as "truth" is particularly interesting regardless-- not just for Laramie, but for Mr. Kaufman, Tectonic Theater, and myself as well.  You can read the article online here through the Theatre Communications Group website. 


Kaufman, Moisés.  "Anatomy of an Experiment: When the Tectonic Team Returned to The Laramie Project, the Docudrama's Sequel Became a Collective Creation Seen and Heard 'Round the World."  American Theatre Jul/Aug 2010.  Web. 

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