Celebrating 20 Years of “The Laramie Project” – Post 2

On February 26, 2000, The Laramie Project had its world premiere production at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. The play, by Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project, tells the stories of real people who lived at the epicenter of one of the nation’s most heinous anti-gay hate crimes.

As one of the most frequently performed plays in America, the message has resonated with diverse audiences over the past 20 years, impacting artists, audience members and communities, creating dialogue and inspiring individuals to embrace the dignity and equality of all people.

In celebration of 20 years of The Laramie Project, we wish to thank all of the producers, directors, professors, teachers, and artists of theater companies, universities, schools and community groups around the world who have produced the play.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the New York premiere on May 18, we will share highlights from productions around the world, sharing unique stories and honoring how Matt’s legacy has impacted lives in a meaningful way. We also suggest reading John Moore’s thoughtful retrospective in American Theatre Magazine.

Post 2 – Newark Memorial High School (Newark, CA)

Laramie Project 2


“Barbara, if you hadn’t been performing The Laramie Project, no one would have cared about the murder of my child.” ~ Sylvia Guerrero, mother of slain transgender teen, Gwen Araujo.   

While we were rehearsing ‘Laramie,’ one of our transgender students, Gwen Araujo, 17, was murdered by two of my former students. Suddenly, we became ‘The Newark Project.’ 

While the press and the Phelps gang turned opening night into a circus outside, inside our theatre, Moisés Kaufman, Amanda Gronich, Father Roger and the standing room only audience listened to my actors discuss Hate and participated in a talk back with us after the show. ‘Laramie’ changed our lives and has had long lasting effects on the community.  We held special trainings for our student body and teachers, all the Newark City workers, Fire Department members, and Police. The City Council even voted to join the National League of Diverse Cities. 

Matthew Shepard FoundationCelebrating 20 Years of “The Laramie Project” – Post 2