The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project Act 3: Angels in America Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The company goes to speak again with Rebecca Hilliker, who is producing the play Angels in America at the university. Rebecca said that it became clear to the university that they need to do their part to reduce homophobia statewide, and that the play is a way to do that. Rebecca asks the company to guess who is auditioning for the lead role.
Rebecca’s belief that plays can change community values is clear from how she discusses Angels in America. In turn, Rebecca seems to feel similarly optimistic about the capacity of the Laramie Project to change people’s perspectives.
Themes
Theater and Representation Theme Icon
Jedadiah Schultz answers the question by exclaiming that his parents were shocked to hear that the university was doing the same play that Jedadiah performed for the high school competition—a play that greatly upset them. His mother asked if he was going to audition for a part, and when Jedadiah said he was, it prompted a huge argument between them. Jedadiah argued that his parents had just seen him play a murderer on stage in Macbeth, and if they did not object to that, they shouldn’t object to him playing a gay person. Jedadiah goes on to say that he never prepared for an audition as much as he did for the role in Angels in America.
In this interview with Jedadiah Schultz, the reader begins to see how Jedadiah has changed over the course of the play. Whereas Jedadiah describes his high school self as simply ignoring his parents wishes, Jedadiah now actively engages with his parents about why they do not want him to do the play and forces them to confront their own hypocritical logic. Jedadiah also shows that he cares deeply about the play’s success, as he describes preparing for the audition for hours.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Theater and Representation Theme Icon
Next, the Detective on Matthew’s case, Rob Debree, talks about how, thanks to the investigation, he spoke for the first time with LGBT people living in the community about their safety concerns. Rob says that, since Matthew’s case, he has changed his own values, and he is no longer going to put up with or listen to homophobic rhetoric. As a result, Rob says, he has lost some friends, but he feels “more comfortable.”
Rob Debree discusses how his investigation of Matthew’s case allowed him to actually meet and engage with LGBT people and become an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community. This is another example of how Matthew’s death helped to change people’s views.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
The narrator then reintroduces Reggie Fluty, who finishes the story of her HIV exposure. Reggie said she got tested regularly until the she was finally declared officially negative for HIV. Marge Murray, Reggie’s mother, talks about how happy they both were. Reggie says the first thing she did was kiss her husband, and then she thought about how she hoped she’d done her “service” well. Reggie’s daughters cried when they heard the news and the whole family went out for drinks to celebrate. At the bar, everyone hugged and kissed, and Reggie kissed everyone on the lips regardless of their gender. Marge tells her that the interviewers don’t need to know that, and Reggie good-naturedly tells her to get over it.
Reggie’s story of HIV exposure ends happily. As Marge and Reggie discuss their reactions to the good news, Marge becomes slightly embarrassed when Reggie talks about kissing everyone in the bar, regardless of their gender. As Reggie playfully tells Marge to get over it, the playwrights seem to be drawing attention to the difference in generational attitudes towards homosexuality, suggesting that, over time, Laramie is slowly changing to be more accepting.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
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