The show opened on October 17th and ran until October 20th to full houses. Writer Shana Kongmun for the Chiang Mai-Mail wrote, "Performed at Kad Suan Kaew, the Gate Theater once again excelled, this time in a compelling and haunting portrayal of hate crimes." Laramie, Wyoming, population 26,687. Laramie, often referred to as the “gem city of the plains” was the site of the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21 year-old, gay, University of Wyoming student. On October 6, 1998, he was found tied to a “buck” fence, beaten and unconscious. On October 8, 1998, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney were arrested for the kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and attempted first-degree murder of Matthew Shepard. On October 12, 1998, Matthew Shepard died in Poudre Valley Health Center after 5 days in a coma. The charges against Henderson and McKinney were amended to include first-degree murder.
The Laramie Project is a play by Moises Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theater Project. On November 14, 1998, members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, and conducted interviews with the people of the town. The play is edited from those interviews, as well as from journal entries by members of the company. The play is about the town of Laramie, its citizens, and their reaction to Matthew Shepard's murder.