The Laramie Project
By Moises Kaufman
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727191, 128pp.)
Publication Date: September 11, 2001
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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 hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard’s death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people of Laramie the event was deeply personal, and it’s they we hear in this stunningly effective theater piece, a deeply complex portrait of a community.
Moises Kaufman is the founder and artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project, a theater company based in New York City. His 1997 play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde was named one of the best plays of the year by Time, Newsday, The New York Post, The Advocate, and The New York Times. With Tectonic he has directed works by Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Benjamin Britten, Sophie Treadwell, and Christohper Ashley, as well as new works by Peter Golub and Naomi Iizuka. He is the recipient of the 1997 Joe A. Callaway Award for excellence in the craft of stage direction given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation for his work on Gross Indecency.
In his native Venezuela, Mr. Kaufman performed as an actor with the Thespis Theater Ensemble, one of the country's foremost experimental theater companies. He has lived in New York City since 1987.
“One of the ten best plays of the year.”
“Deeply moving.... This play is Our Town with a question mark, as in ‘Could this be our town?’”
—The New York Times
"An amazing piece of theater... Out of the Shepard tragedy is wrenched art."
—The New York Post
"Brilliant... bone-hard drama [that] dares to touch the hidden wound of the American West... Within these pages, a healing occurs."
—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge