THE LARAMIE PROJECT
In October 1998, Matthew Shepard, age 21, was brutally beaten and left to die on the plains outside Laramie, Wyoming. Because he was gay. Over the next year, Moisés Kaufman and a team of writers and actors from Tectonic took six trips to Laramie, where they interviewed citizens of the town – some unconnected with the tragedy, and some intimately involved. Using Moment Work, the company created The Laramie Project, a stunning theatrical examination of the immediate reactions of Matt Shepard’s community to the murder and to the underlying bigotry and hatred that enabled it. The Laramie Project has since been seen by over 30 million people around the world.
The Laramie Project is the first of a two-play cycle, which includes The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. There is an emerging trend in theaters to produce both plays in repertory, which reflects a powerful response to a world where facts are plastic, where acceptance is despised. To witness Laramie in the rawness of its shaken self-confidence and the desperation of its historical reconstruction, is to be warned. Hate did happen there. Hate can happen anywhere. We must guard against it. When it happens, we must not deny, or forget, or revise. The people of Laramie are our teachers.
“Astonishing. Not since Angels in America has a play attempted so much: nothing less than an examination of the American psyche at the end of the millennium.” — Mike Kuchwara, AP
“A pioneering work and a powerful stage event.” — Time Magazine
“Nothing short of stunning. Not to be missed.” — John Simon, New York Magazine
- Director & Writer – Moisés Kaufman
- Head Writer – Leigh Fondakowski
- Associate Writer – Stephen Belber
- Associate Writer – Greg Pierotti
- Associate Writer – Stephen Wangh
- Set Design – Robert Brill
- Lighting Design – Betsy Adams
- Sound Design – Craig Breitenbach
- Costuming – Moe Schell
- Composer – Peter Golab
- Projection Design – Martha Swetzoff
- Production Stage Manager – Charles Means
- Dramaturg – Amanda Gronich
- Dramaturg- Sarah Lambert
- Dramaturg – John McAdams
- Dramaturg – Maude Mitchell
- Dramaturg – Andy Paris
- Dramaturg – Barbara Pitts McAdams
- Dramaturg – Kelli Simpkins
- Stephen Belber
- Amanda Gronich
- Mercedes Herrero
- John McAdams
- Barbara Pitts
- Libby King
- Andy Paris
- Greg Pierotti
- The Laramie Project premiered at The Denver Center Theatre Company on February 26, 2000. The production transferred to New York City at the Union Square Theatre, running from May 18, 2000 to September 2, 2000. The Laramie Project was developed in part with the support of The Sundance Theatre Laboratory.
- The Laramie Project was performed in Laramie for five performances at The University of Wyoming in November 2000.
- Notable awards for The Laramie Project include American Library Association GLBT Book Award in Literature 2002, Humanitas Prize 2002, Outfest 2002 Special Programming Award, City Weekly 2001 Best Playwright, and 2002 GLAAD Media Award.
- Tectonic Theater Project collaborated with HBO to make a film based on the play. It starred Peter Fonda, Laura Linney, Christina Ricci, and Steve Buscemi, and members of the original company, among others. It opened the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for 4 Emmys (Outstanding Made for TV Movie, Outstanding Directing of a TV Movie, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Casting).
- The full The Laramie Project Cycle was presented at Brooklyn Academy of Music in February, 2013.
- Apply for the rights to perform The Laramie Project through Dramatists Play Service.