66 pages 2 hours read

Moises Kaufman

The Laramie Project

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2001

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Essay Topics


The Laramie Project describes a moment of national crisis when, in the wake of Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder, Americans were forced to confront the reality of homophobia and prejudice in their communities. Do you think attitudes to LGBT people and other minority groups have changed since 1998? Do you see prejudice at work in your own society? How does it manifest? And what are some of the strategies for overcoming prejudice?


In his introduction to The Laramie Project, Moisés Kaufman explains that he wanted to pose the following question: “Is theatre a medium that can contribute to the national dialogue on current events?” (12). Respond to Kaufman’s question considering both the play’s contents and its formal elements. What might prevent the theatre from providing an effective commentary on current affairs, and does Kaufman’s play overcome them?


While Matthew Shepard is at the heart of this play, we learn very little about him and never hear his voice. Was this a deliberate decision by the theatre company? If so, what might their reasoning be?