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The Laramie Project: Home

This guide is based on The Laramie Project, a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder of Matthew Shepard.

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

"In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Five weeks later, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder." (


Memory and Matthew Shepard: opposing expressions of public memory in television movies Journal of Communication Inquiry, July, 2007, Vol.31(3), p.222(17) [Peer Reviewed Journal] Author: Lynch, John


The Production

Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Company

  1. Why isn’t The Laramie Project presented as a documentary?
  2. Does fictionalizing parts of a true story aid or hinder our understanding of the story?
  3. Is it possible to portray a whole town as a character in a story? Does the purpose of the play undermine its success?
  4. What other works of theatre are structured like The Laramie Project?
  5. What are the benefits, and drawbacks, to this form of presentational theatre?
  6. Will an audience accept a small number of actors playing many parts, or should each role in Laramie be played by a single individual? How would these 2 styles of production affect the audience?


Matthew Shepard


Consider these keywords when searching for more information:

Laramie Project

Moises Kaufman

Matthew Shepard

Aaron James McKinney

Russell A. Henderson

Tectonic Theater

Collective memory



Hate Crime





Matthew Shepard Foundation 


Gay Rights




Perspective matters.

How does the viewpoint from which the story is shared impact your thoughts about the town, its people and the events that occured?

How did the media and others frame the event? Was it objective or subjective? How is the framing of an event important?

People view life through the lens of their religious beliefs.  How did religious beliefs influence reactions to the community violence that occured?

It is often said that out of tragedy hope is born. Do you agree or disagree?