Here is an update about the awesome production of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later that runs from May 19 to May 27th. Their cast shared some pictures from their grand dress rehearsal on May 16th that you can view on this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pg/OneWorldTheatre/photos/?tab=album&album_id=814856708680261
Here are three excellent trailers for the production. They feature moments from the play and also excerpts from the Nepali LGBTQ+ stories.
Trailer #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Eyl-fXOdXs&feature=youtu.be
Trailer #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y37qviPgus
Trailer #3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFapAL0gx0I
Here are some sentiments from the cast about their experience with the show and about LGBTQ+ culture in Nepal’s society.
Pragyan: What’s especially great [about this production] is that we’re incorporating stories from Nepali LGBTIQ people- which gives people outside the community a lens into how life is like for them in a Nepali context.
Achanchha: Heteronormativity is so blindly internalized in our society, that even if someone were to feel differently, they would probably push it aside or made to do so as a passing phase, an imitation, if not coercion. The reason we need to show this play in Nepal…is in order to normalize the idea that being LGBTI is synonymous to being human, and eventually hoping it doesn’t need a separate label.
Justin: My character (Aaron McKinney) brings a perspective that is unfortunately all too common around the world, which is a hatred for gay people. It’s important to learn from these characters what our society is doing wrong. As Father Roger says in the play, “They have to be our teachers. How did you learn? What did we as a society do to teach you that?”
Swastika: The play will not make sudden changes to the whole society but it will have an impact, no matter how small, that needs to be made. Sharing our stories means letting people know that such a community exists.
Navin: Change cannot happen overnight but I know that the play will give people a chance to understand issues in a holistic way and hopefully question the prejudices they have about the members of the LGBTIQ community.
Bijay: Only after getting into this play did I get to know about Matthew Shephard and the whole movement that followed. In Kathmandu, I have not had many conversations about the LGBTIQ issues in my circle, so doing this play has made me learn a lot about this and made me aware of the kind of concerns that exist and which I previously ignored.
Sandeep: The main perpetrator Aaron McKinney was actually the one who was responsible for the murder but Russell is somebody who merely tags along and somehow does not really stand up to Aaron in order to stop the crime from happening. This really made me understand that had a Russell stood up and told Aaron that what was happening was wrong, perhaps the outcomes of that evening in 1998 would have been drastically different.
Hemanta: This drama is very rich and intense in text and I hope as an actor I can bring these characters to life. It has improved me as an actor…
Shanti: …Playing the role of Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, has been quite something for me. Matthew Shepard was a victim of discrimination and hate and one of the hopes his mother, Judy, has is to make sure that what her son had to go through cannot be repeated again. This is what she fights for and advocates.
This production, co-directed by Bruno Deceukelier and Rajkumar Pudasaini, is bound to be incredible. Here is the program, which includes some more info about the production and some words from Bruno.
Laramie Handout Nepal One World Theater
This production is not only honoring Martin Benitez Torres and those who were victims of gay persecution in Chechen, but they are also honoring Bikram Pariyar. Bikram was a member of the One World production of The Laramie Project a few years ago. He tragically died in an attack. The LPP team sends their love to Bikram’s family and friends, and hopes that the healing power of theatre shines hopeful light on this sad occurrence.
LPP Team Alyssa