The Laramie Project
By Moisés Kaufman and members of
the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Joel Greenberg
February 12 – March 2, 2003
In October 1998, openly gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, 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 Laramie Project, a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder.
Laramie premiered in New York in 2000, playing to rave reviews and impassioned audiences. Time Magazine called it “one of the ten best plays of the year,” and it has since become one of the most performed plays in North America. On October 12, 2009, on the anniversary of Matthew Sheppard’s death, we participated in an extraordinary one-night event as we joined forces with theatres around the world to perform simultaneous readings of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, a fascinating epilogue to the original piece.
A CANADIAN PREMIERE
Written by Moisés Kaufman and members of
the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Featuring Lesley Dowey, Deborah Drakeford, Jonathan Goad, Marvin Hinz, Alison Lawrence, Mark McGrinder, Kimwun Perehinec, and Dylan Roberts
Stage Managed by Michael Smalley
Set Designed by Michael Gianfrancesco
Costume Designed by Kelsey Hart
Lighting Designed by Michael Kruse
Sound Designed by Joey Morin
Production Managed by Melanie Klodt
Education and Fundraising by Samara Nicholds
Consulting Producing by Derrick Chua
Assistant Stage Managed by Brad Goddard
Company Management by Anthony Lemke
Production Consulted on by David James
Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Tectonic Theater Project is a nonprofit theatre dedicated to exploring theatrical language and form and was established in 1991. Its first production, Women in Beckett, was the collection of all of Samuel Beckett’s short plays for women performed by a cast aged 65-80. Tectonic has produced works by emerging playwrights such as Naomi Iizuka (Coxinga and Marlowe’s Eye); stage classics such as Beckett’s Endgame and Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal; and a highly-acclaimed production of Franz Xaver Kroetz’ The Nest. With its hyper-real diorama of a set and its imaginative use of puppetry (brought to life by acclaimed puppeteer Basil Twist), The Nest was named one of the ten best productions of the 1994/95 season by The Village Voice. Tectonic dedicated two years to the development of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, a new play written and directed by Artistic Director Moises Kaufman. The play caused a popular and critical sensation when it began in New York in the end of February, 1997. Gross Indecency transferred to Off-Broadway and ran there for over 18 months. Tectonic’s production was mounted by Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, enjoyed a six-month run at Theater on the Square in San Francisco, as well as successful productions in Toronto, Plymouth and the West End in London. The play has also been produced by over 40 regional theatres and internationally in Paris, Stockholm, Montreal, Mexico City, Budapest and Germany. Gross Indecency won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Off-Broad- way Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the Garland Award for Best Play (Los Angeles), the Caldwell Award (Florida} and the GLAAD Media Award for New York Theater. Mr. Kaufman received the 1997 Joe A. Callaway Award for Excellence in Direction given by the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, as well as the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for directing. The Vintage publication of Gross Indecency won the Lambda Book Award. Tectonic Theater Project received an Outer Critics Circle Award as the original producers of the play. Tectonic Theater Project’s development of The Laramie Project was made possible in part by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation, the Sundance Theatre Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Leon Levy, Anne Milliken and Gayle Francis. Tectonic Theater Project also receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Development of Cultural Affairs.
A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.
Lesley is thoroughly enjoying and is honoured to be a part of The Laramie Project. She was last seen in Portia Coughlan (University of Toronto Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama). Others credits include Run, and Lie With Me (Urban Spine), and Shakespeare’s Rugby Wars (Upstart Crow). Her film and television work include Odyssey 5 and Silent Song. She would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the members of Studio 180 for this experience.
Recent credits include: A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper Theatre Company, 2002 and 2001); Zaidie’s Shoes (Mirvish Productions); Sibs (Marquis Entertainment), Antigone (Red Red Rose). Other selected credits: Doubt (Theatre Columbus/Factory Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest, Great Expectations, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Christmas Carol (The Grand Theatre, London); The Secret Garden (Theatre New Brunswick); Mirror Game (Young People’s Theatre) plus two seasons at the Blyth Festival and a season at Stratford. Television and film work include several movies of the week and various episodics. Deb also provides voice work for TVO’s Polka Dot Shorts.
Jonathan spent fifteen years with the Stratford Festival: Henry VIII, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet, The Alchemist, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Pentecost, Phèdre, The Music Man, King John, Pericles, Orpheus Descending, Henry Iv, Henry VI, Fiddler of the Roof, As You Like It, Fuente Ovejuna, Julius Caesar, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Bartholomew Fair, The Brothers Karamazov. Elsewhere: A Whistle in the Dark, Speaking in Tongues, (Company Theatre); Our Class, the Laramie Project (Studio 180); King Lear (Soulpepper); Arcadia (Theatre Junction). Directing: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Stratford festival); John by Annie Baker (Company Theatre). Film/TV: Reign, Alias Grace, Dark Matter, Dorsal, Nikita, Republic of Doyle, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Unnatural History, Othello, Rookie Blue. Training: NTS, Birmingham Conservatory, University of Waterloo, Banff Centre. Teaching: NTS, Fanshawe College
Marvin is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (BA) and also holds an MFA in Theatre from York University. He has worked in theatre and television over the past fifteen years, most recently in: DWARF (Equity Showcase, David Rotenberg); Joey in The Old Neighborhood (ARTWORD, East-West Theatre); Alden in Sparta (Summerworks 2001, Sarah Martyn); and Ted in The Foursome (Upper Canada Playhouse, Peter McGuire). Marvin adapted and performed the Toronto Fringe success Game, which was short-listed for the 1999 US Comedy Arts Festival. Recent film and television credits include: Street Time, Nero Wolfe, Witchblade and Brian’s Song, as well as several commercials.
Alison is a graduate of George Brown College. Most recently Alison performed in: the biggest Toronto Fringe hit ever, Top Gun! The Musical; and starred in the Grand Theatre London’s production of Nurse Jane Goes To Hawaii. She also performed her own play Going for Groceries at both the Summerworks Festival and the Between Stages Series. Alison just left the cast of bittergirl, for which she was both co-writer and co-star. It has played two sold-out runs at the Tim Sims Playhouse and has toured to London England and New York City. Alison will return to bittergirl, playing at the Stealth Lounge upstairs at the Pilot Tavern.
Mark is a Co-Founder of Studio 180 and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.
Kimwun is a co-founder, artist educator and member of the Core Artistic Team for Studio 180. Other selected credits include Frankenstein’s Boy, Madhouse Variations, Sideshow of the Damned (Eldritch Theatre); Chasing Margaret Flatwood (Theatre Awakening); Like Wolves (GCTC); Wrecked (Roseneath Theatre); This Is About the Push (Seventh Stage); Mourning Dove (Ark Collective); Vanities (Theatre in Port); Spain (Absit Omen); Phae (Collective Architecture); High-Gravel-Blind, Shadows, Walk Right Up (Stratford Festival). Film and TV credits include recurring roles on the TMN series The Line and the web series B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye; and Puppets Who Kill, Nikita and Thieves. Kimwun has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Ensemble) and is a graduate of the actor training program at George Brown College.
Dylan’s recent credits include: Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Resurgence Theatre); Srgt. Pissani in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (The Globe Theatre); and Teddy in Science Fiction (Factory Studio Theatre). Dylan is very excited to be joining the ranks of Video Caberet for their next production. Thanks as always to wife Shari, who makes him laugh so.
Michael has worked in all areas of theatre on three different continents. Originally from Australia, he worked in England before moving to Canada in 2001. His varied career has seen him design sound, direct, act, write, produce, play with lights and of course, stage manage all over the place. Since arriving in Canada, he has stage managed Look Back in Anger (Shiftless When Idle Theatre), Annie (St Lawrence Stage Company), and Aladdin (Stirling Festival Theatre). As an ASM, he has worked on Ota (Theatre Ephemera), Belle (Factory Theatre/National Arts Centre), and The Donnellys (Blyth Festival). He is thrilled to be working with such a great group of people on such a great show.
Michael’s set & costume design credits for theatre, opera and dance include A Few Good Men (Citadel/MTC); Trouble in Tahiti, In Good King Charles’s Golden Days (costumes), One Touch of Venus (costumes) (Shaw Festival); Caroline or Change (set, Acting Up Stage/Obsidian); Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical (set) (YPT); Romeo and Juliet, The 39 Steps, White Christmas (set), Fiddler on the Roof (costumes) (MTC); The Drowsy Chaperone (set, MTC/Theatre Calgary); Rodin/Claudel, Kaleidoscope (set) (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens); Svadba, Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour, The Midnight Court – presented at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); In Colour (National Ballet of Canada); A View from the Bridge (set, Segal Theatre); Rock ‘n’ Roll, It’s a Wonderful Life, Little Shop of Horrors (set) (Canadian Stage). Michael has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival and most recently designed the scenery for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was the 2008 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and received the Brian Jackson Award from the Stratford Festival.
Since graduating from CalArts Kelsey has been designing and assisting on a variety of productions. Kelsey’s most recent credits include: The Crypt Club, Two Words, Year of the Lion and Twist.
Michael’s most recent credits include: Alphonse for Theatre Direct Canada; Flamenco Picasso for the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company; and William and James for Theatre Passe Murraille. Past design credits include: The Gwednolyn Poems for the Factory Theatre; The Millionairess, A Woman of No Importance and Waterloo for the Shaw Festival; the Buncha’ Festival in 2001 and 2002 for Theatre Direct Canada; The Awakening and The Pains of Youth for which he received a Dora Nomination, for Theatre Voce, Peep Show and Henry and Pierre for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre; The Orphan Muses for the Great Canadian Theatre Company; Wit for the Globe Theatre; The Melville Boys and When the Reaper Calls for the Blyth Festival; and Jason Sherman’s Patience for the Tarragon Theatre. Michael is currently under contract with the Cast Group in Toronto and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. Michael has a strong commitment to mentoring and has done a number of seminars for both high school and university students.
Recent design credits include: Spring Awakening (Randolf Academy, 2002), Life Out Loud (Adrenaline Productions, 2001), Cinema Inferno (ICASTICO, 2000), The Recurring Dream (Hard Time [T.O. Fringe], 2000) and Doris Does Damage (Toronto Fringe, 1999). Other credits include Sound Recordist on This Beggar’s Description (Tetrault Productions, 2002) and Doris Does Damage [Live at Second City] (…and you’re not that pretty productions, 2001). Joey is also a photographer, computer consultant and technician both in theatre and other areas. Although not seen in a while, he hopes to appear on stage again soon. He is thrilled to be involved with such a densely talented group of people.
A University of Waterloo drama and arts administration graduate (2001), her most recent credits include: assistant stage manager for Crimes (Alianak Productions), Peter Pan – The Musical (Theatre Aquarius), Mamma Mia! Toronto rehearsals (Mirvish Productions) and production assistant for both the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Opera Company. Melanie will be returning to Stratford this season as a rehearsal ASM on Gigi and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She would like to thank the Studio 180 team for all their hard work and dedication – it has paid off!
Education and Fundraising
Sam is currently a middle school teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Prior to becoming a teacher, she obtained a BA from University of Waterloo, majoring in Drama and with a specialization in Arts Administration. Upon graduation, she was busy in the Toronto theatre scene working administratively with Young Peoples Theatre, Canadian Stage Company, Theatre Direct Canada, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and both the Toronto Fringe and Summerworks Festivals. She even performed professionally once at YPT playing the role of Companion Mouse in a play called Jumping Mouse, written by Columpa C. Bobb and Marion deVries, and directed by Sally Han! In addition, she performed some puppetry around Toronto, including the animation of Heather the Salamander in a pilot for a children’s show called Spadasheo (Clowns after Midnight Productions). She is incredibly proud to be a co-founder of Studio 180 and particularly to have supported the amazing team that worked on the first production, The Laramie Project.
A co-founder of Studio 180, Derrick is an entertainment lawyer and award-winning theatre producer. Recent productions include I’m Doing This For You (Edinburgh, Amsterdam, London, Tampere, Piotrowice Nyskie, Halifax, Toronto), Counting Sheep (Edinburgh), Confessions and Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl (Edinburgh, Brighton), Dance Animal (Toronto Fringe), Obeah Opera (PANAMANIA), The God That Comes & When It Rains (Edinburgh Fringe), Oh My Irma (International Tour: Edinburgh Fringe, Berlin, London, Kosovo, Ulaanbaatar, Brighton, Amsterdam, Kiel, New York, Victoria), Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Dancemakers), Gruesome Playground Injuries (The Theatre Centre). Derrick is past-President of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and sits on the boards of The AFC, Theatre Museum Canada, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company and Groundling Theatre. He is the recipient of a Dora Award, a Harold Award, a NOW Magazine Award as Toronto’s Best Indie Producer, and a Canadian Actors’ Equity Association Honorary Membership for Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts.
Assistant Stage Manager
This play never judges anybody… [Its] straightforwardness, the inevitable snatches of comedy that arise from the interviews and the great swathes of sorrow also apparent in Laramie make the project utterly compelling.★★★★ The Globe and Mail
A wonderful tapestry of compassion and hate woven together with invisible threads of homophobia and humanity… An excellent, moving piece of theatre.NNNN – NOW Magazine
The play grips, and it won’t let you go.National Post
This compelling play is a run don’t walk.CLASSICAL 96.3FM