The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project Act 3: Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Andy Paris, one of the members of the theater company, says that, on the company’s last trip to Laramie, they were able to see Jedadiah Schultz in Angels in America. Afterward, Jedadiah told the theater company that, although he tried not to get involved with Matthew Shepard’s case, he felt it changed him. Jedadiah asks to hear a recording of his interview from the first time the theater company came to town, and he is shocked and upset that he previously expressed anything other than unconditional acceptance towards gay people.
In this final interview with Jedadiah, Jedadiah clearly feels that his views on homosexuality have changed drastically since his first interview. While Jedadiah is horrified by the things he said in the earlier interviews that expressed doubt about the morality of homosexuality, his journey shows the capacity that people have to change and become more open in even a short amount of time.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Next, Romaine Patterson talks about how she has changed since the beginning of the project. Romaine says she has decided to go to college for communications and political science in order to become a political activist. Romaine goes on to say that she is to be honored in Washington D.C. by the Anti-Defamation League for the counter-protest she organized. Romaine feels that Matthew Shepard is guiding her through her life.
Romaine began The Laramie Project with a very open acceptance of LGBT people (she was, in fact, a friend of Matthew’s). Her experience after Matthew’s murder pushes her to advocate and organize for social justice more passionately, so much so that Romaine decides to devote her life to it.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Jonas Slonaker talks about how difficult change can be, and says that he feels that meaningful change did not occur in Laramie. Jonas believes that, once Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were convicted, the townspeople stopped talking about Matthew’s death. Jonas notes that, in the year since the murder, no anti-discrimination laws have been passed.
While many individual characters have become more accepting, Jonas Slonaker is frustrated by what he sees as a lack of systemic and legislative change. This suggests that Wyoming still has much more work to do to protect LGBT rights.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
The narrator states that the company decided to meet one last time at the fence where Matthew Shepard was found to say their goodbyes. Doc O’Connor then talks about how beautiful that spot is, with a view of the sparkling lights of the whole city. He is glad it was the last thing Matthew saw.
Doc’s comments about the beauty of the lights of Laramie leave the reader with a hopeful image of the town’s future and evoke Doc’s earlier comments about how, without the death penalty, the town will hopefully move forward.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
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