13.5.05

At a loss for words

In an interesting confluence of events, yesterday our HS Drama classes put on "The Laramie Project" and early this morning, Connecticut put Michael Ross to death.

"Laramie", for those that don't know, is based on the events surrounding the murder of Matthew Shephard in 1998. It's an incredibly powerful piece, and the acting was just... words fail me. The way these teens got under the skin of the characters, each playing several different people with varying ages and genders and backgrounds, was incredible. It's not a short play - 2 1/2 hours plus intermission - and the intensity of the acting and action makes it almost intolerable. The few comic moments came from the absolute humanity of the people involved.

One of the things that struck me was the speach by Shephard's father, taken from his Victim's Impact Statement during the second trial (that of AJ McKinney):
"I would like nothing better than to see you die... However, this is the time to begin the healing process, to show mercy to someone who refused to show mercy... I give you life in the memory of one who no longer lives... Every time you celebrate a birthday or Thanksgiving or Christmas or the Fourth of July, remember Matthew isn't celebrating it... I hope you have a long life to celebrate."

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