Monday, June 24, 2013

Author Bio: Moises Kaufman

This week, we'll be reviewing The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of Matthew Shepard, created by Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project.

Kaufman, after deciding that he wanted to work on a project about the Shepard murder, presented the idea to his theater group. They all went to Laramie, Wyoming to interview everyone they could. Those interviews became The Laramie Project; Kaufman used the words of Laramie residents themselves to represent the town and the events surrounding Matthew Shepard.

For those of you who don't remember, in 1998, two young men picked up 21-year-old University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in a bar, drove him out into the country, and beat him severely, leaving him to die. Shepard was found, taken to the hospital and died a few days later. The attack sparked national debate about hate crime laws, because Shepard was gay.

Kaufman also write Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and 33 Variations, about a musicologist's investigation into Beethoven's decision to compose 33 variations of a basic musical theme.

The Laramie Project opened in Denver, then moved to New York, and was brought to Laramie in November 2000 (shortly after the two-year anniversary of Shepard's death). It was adapted to a film directed by Kaufman in 2002.


His theater group, Tectonic Theater Project, has a website you can check out here, and you can find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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