On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act of brutality and hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard's death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people of Laramie the event became deeply personal, and it is their voices we hear in this stunningly effective theater piece.
Moises Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From theses interviews as well as their own experiences, Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience. The Laramie Project chronicles the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder, using eight actors to embody more than sixty different people in their own words - from rural ranchers to university professors. The result is a complex portrayal that dispels the simplistic media stereotypes and explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.