Friday, February 18, 2011

Hate Group to picket ALAS

The South Florida Daily Blog reports that Westboro Baptist Church is once again planning on visiting Broward County, this time to picket the tiny Andrews Living Arts Studio for having the audacity to perform The Laramie Project.

The play is about the the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming.  It is culled from hundreds of interviews conducted by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project.  It is an effective exploration of a how a seemingly tight knit community of decent people could foster blind hatred resulting in a senseless and brutal murder by a group of its children.  It has been produced thousands of times around the world, and was even made into a film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO.

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church also picket the funerals of soldiers killed in the current struggles in the middle east, in addition to their anti-homosexuality activities.  But The Laramie Project is one of their favorite targets of opportunity, and they regularly target productions across the country, particularly if the production involves students.

Theatre Scene readers may recall that Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to picket the Rising Action Theatre production of The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, but Phelps canceled once he learned that an actor in the show had contacted him to generate publicity for the show.

Phelps may be the most vile man walking the earth today, and his Westboro Baptist Church the most repugnant organization since the Nazis.  His insistence on describing himself as a Christian is an affront to Jesus, his characterization of his band of thugs as a church is an insult to the Lord God Almighty.

The South Florida Daily blog has suggested that a show of support for ALAS would send a message to the world that Phelps and his band of hatemongers are not welcome in South Florida.  And the South Florida Theatre Scene agrees; but even if you can't show up that night, you can really lash out at Phelps simply by going to see the show.  Tickets are cheap, and you'll really be sticking it to WBC.  And helping a freshman theater company at the same time.


  1. I see the have Equus coming up. You know, it's been done recently... Any theatre that can't pay attention to what's happening around them artistically does not even deserve to do a show like Laramie.

  2. Really? That's all you got? How sad for you. Of course, if that were all I had to say about a hate group picketing a theatre in my community, I wouldn't want anyone to know that I made the statement, either.

    Have a nice day, Fred.