If you've been following my blog, you know that I have been incredibly busy in the theatre world this year. In the last 7 months, I have performed in 5 local productions, including From Up Here, I Hate Hamlet, The Dinner Party, The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. The Laramie shows were performed in the same weekend, which required the actors to learn 2 full-length plays and collectively, over 100 characters.
For those who may not be familiar, The Laramie Project is about a theatre company that traveled to Laramie, Wyoming in the wake of Matthew Shepard's brutal beating. Matthew was gay. One night, he was tied to a fence and savagely beaten by two Laramie men. When he was found, Matthew was barely breathing and days later, he died in a Poudre Valley hospital. 10 years later, members of the Tectonic Theater Project returned to see how things had (or had not) changed since Matthew's murder.
I love school counseling and most definitely feel fulfilled by my career. However, I truly believe that we must have an additional outlet for our creativity; otherwise, we may be sucked into a black hole of self-doubt, stress, and worry. We need a break from any passion so we can come back to it with a fresh perspective and rejuvenated spirit.
I also try to pick projects that I am excited about, especially since I have to devote so much time and energy to them. The Laramie Project has been one of my dream shows since my freshman year at Bowling Green State University, when I read it for the Honors Program's "community read." It broke my heart as I discovered more about Matthew Shepard and the town he lived in. It forced me to have an opinion, a stance, and a voice.
Soon after watching a live performance at BGSU, I checked out HBO's film version of The Laramie Project, which is extremely powerful and brings the Laramie voices to life in a honest, heartfelt way. I encourage you to watch the film because it sparks great discussion about our communities and nation.
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Finally, I wanted to share a powerful video that leaves us with, as Doc O'Connor says in The Laramie Project, "H.O.P.E."
I couldn't help but tear up as I saw Matthew's picture appear. What would our world be like without hatred?
I like to think that, as school counselors, we can help our students stand above the negative actions they see in the news, in films, and in video games. I want to create free-thinkers who can recognize when injustice is occuring.
I want to be the change. I hope you do too.