Meet the Actor – Keith Giard of The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project at Hole in the Wall is getting rave reviews from patrons. At a time when hate crimes are on the rise and the news is filled with acts of violence against minority groups, Hole in the Wall is using art to speak about the need for society to come together in our humanity. Hear what actor Keith Giard has to say about his experiences with theater and with hate crime.

What characters do you play in the show?
Moises Kaufman (the lead writer of the show), Dennis Shepard (Matthew’s father), Father Roger Schmit, Harry Woods, Philip DuBois, Rulon Stacey

What’s your favorite role to date?
Hank in Boys In The Band for Hole In The Wall Theatre.

Have you worked at Hole in the Wall before? If so, what shows have you done here?
Yes. The Boys in The Band

What made you audition for The Laramie Project?
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the past with Hole In The Wall. Also, its a very personal piece for me.

What effect have hate crimes had on your life?
I have never personally been a victim of a hate crime nor have I participated in one against someone else; not even in an act of hate. As a school teacher, I am very vocal and persistent that children are taught love, compassion and respect for all.

Why do you think The Laramie Project is important to produce in the current state of America?
Its important that we continue to communcate that hate will not be tolderated on any level. This play has educated many people as to how an act of violence such as this caused America to wake up and take notice that it happens too often; even in the smallest of remote areas of the USA.

What’s the most exciting part about getting to play a number of characters in the same show? What’s the most challenging part about it?
The most exciting part is that I can portray many different real people who actually spoke these very words in the script. The most challeneging part is to make each individual character stand alone and be believeable. Also, speaking exactly as what is in the script as these are real people, not characters, who were interviewed. These are their words.

Do you remember the beating and subsequent death of Matthew Shepard? How did it affect you at the time?
I do indeed. It was like a punch in the gut; a personal attack. I couldnt believe that an act so inhumane could happen… anyone.

In one sentence: what is The Laramie Project about?
Showing the world that good shall always prevail over evil and hate.