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photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the Laramie Project- Too Close For Comfort?

The Laramie Project is set to be staged in Tyler Texas- the closest "big city" to us, the city where I work.

I'm excited about it- as a theater lover from Way Back, it's the first thing I'd like to see (other than the childrens production pirate play my 6 year old was in) that the Tyler Civic Theater has put on in the almost 16 years I've lived here.

In my former lives I've been an actress in high school, seen productions in Milwaukee and Chicago, and held season tickets to the Theater Guild in Racine Wisconsin, so I was thrilled to see something "out of the ordinary" being offered here in admittedly conservative East Texas.

Here. Take a look-

http://www.tylercivictheatre.com/laramie_project.html

Alas, my joy was short-lived.

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/13/Will_Texas_Theater_Cancel_The_Laramie_Project_/

Seriously? THREE whole people objected to the subject matter and they were going to tank the whole production?

I love East Texas. It's fabulously beautiful and for the most part, the people are wonderful. I tell folks that it's the Shiny Buckle of the Bible Belt and that's true. I tell folks that around here your choice of religion is Baptist, Baptist, Methodist and Baptist and that's true.

The Shiny Buckle Baptists and Methodists I'm proud to call my friends are Christians as Christ meant them to be and I love each and every one of them.

It's The Others I take issue with- those who take it upon themselves to not only Spread the Word, but who zealously Act as Judges (and Executioners if they feel that's called for).

Like this guy-

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Theres-a-whole-lot-of-demon-going-on/375099533426?ref=ts

I'd like to think that these folks are the minority, but like the Tea Party, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck they are also a very vocal minority- wielding power imagined or monetary, and hollering to wake the dead in order to get their own way- to fit the entire planet into the suffocating straitjacket that is their reality of What God Wants.

So it was distressing to me that THREE people could have this effect on an entire community along with coloring the reputation of that same community to the rest of the world.

Is it "just" the subject matter that is the problem?

Or could THIS have anything to do with it?

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/27/us/killing-of-a-gay-resident-stirs-activism-in-an-east-texas-town.html?pagewanted=1

That's the most publicized case. I can think of two others since then that were 'suspected' homosexual hate crime murders.

Is The Laramie Project and the story it tells too close for comfort? Because for all intents and purposes, in 1993, Tyler WAS Laramie. In many ways, Tyler IS Laramie.

And if that's the case, Tyler needs The Laramie Project even more than other cities- needs it to learn, to reflect and grow in a good way- a way that does NOT produce young people who feel it their God Given Command to hate, even kill, someone based on sexual preference.

Needs it like a tent revival on the banks of the Neches GOOD GAWD can I get an AMEN?

Time for the people of East Texas to make a stand. I'll be standing in line to buy my ticket- to make a stand for kindness over hatred, education over ignorance.

Follow and support the Laramie Project Tyler at

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/The-Laramie-Project-Tyler-Civic-Theatre/110722015613797?v=wall&ref=ts

1 comment:

  1. Sheri, you need to go to: http://dawnmeehan.blogspot.com/
    and give your contact information. You won the $200 Visa.

    ReplyDelete

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