In October 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten and tortured to death near Laramie. The murder received massive attention all around the world. Members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York went to Laramie to interview residents about the crime and this play is based upon those interviews.
The play is performed by Theatre Omnibus, a new company from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. From the beginning, performances are extremely assured and convincing. It becomes very easy to believe that the interviews being played out on the stage are real and that the actors are expressing their own views rather than playing a part. The preacher and the Mormon leader who refused to get involved are portrayed very realistically (and unsympathetically).
One of the most moving parts of the play is the Angels of Peace where a friend of Shepard organises a group of friends to wear white robes and gigantic wings and surround the Reverend Fred Phelps, an anti-gay protester. This prevents Phelps protests from being seen. Another scene which is particularly effective is the one in which Shepards father addresses the court after his sons murderer has pleaded guilty. This is a very good performance of play which everyone should see.