What Laramie Means to Malvern

Jack Murphy

Laramie Project Poster
Laramie Project Poster

As many of you know, Malvern is doing The Laramie Project, the story of Matthew Shepard’s brutal attack and death. But it is far more than that. Laramie is also the story of the people who witnessed the event and knew him. It is the story of hate and the story of love.

Here at Malvern, many seniors were only 1 or 2 years old at the time, so nearly every student has no memory of the incident. News of Matthew Shepard’s murder spread nationwide and a light was brought upon hate crimes. Yes, Matthew was gay, but a woman, an African, or any person who faces discrimination could have been in his position. Shepared was murdered sixteen years ago, yet even today we are still seeing cases like the recent beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia, where laws do not protect certain groups from hate crimes.

Malvern is considered by some to be a “jock mentality” school. I disagree with this statement, and for us to put on this show is a huge step. This show will mean more than any production at Malvern before. It is spreading awareness about hate to each student, teacher, and member of the community.

Personally, this show has been a difficult one to tackle. We have a strong community in the Malvern Theatre Society and we all understand the weight that this show holds.

I have seen too many kids bullied both physically and verbally. Too many times has no one stood up for them. People can say they are sorry all they want, but that can’t solve every problem. Take a plate and smash it into little pieces. Say you’re sorry. Did the plate go back together? Hate leaves lasting scars whether we can see them or not. This show displays all of the strong feelings with which people hate others. It also shows more love and compassion simply because we are all human, and no one should be treated like that.

Hate is around us all, and most have been on both sides at one point or another. We want to show you how hate can escalate. Come see the Malvern Theater Society perform The Laramie Project. We hope to see you there, and we will do our best to “Say it Right.”