What inspired you to write The Laramie Project?
When Matthew Shepard was attacked, the whole nation took notice. The crime shocked me, of course, but the attention that it received shocked me even more. I thought, if I take my theater company to Laramie, Wyo., and we talk to the people of the town, we might be able to gather a sense of where not only Laramie was, but where the entire country was.
The media portrayed the town as rednecks and hillbillies and cowboys, and so of course this could happen there. It couldn’t happen anywhere else. In The Laramie Project, the thing that makes Laramie so stunningly interesting is not how different it is from the rest of the country, but how similar it is.
This Q&A with The Laramie Project author and director Moisés Kaufman appeared in the spring 2014 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.