Filming begins May 2 in Wyoming for the HBO-Good Machine television movie of "The Laramie Project," drawn from the Off-Broadway drama written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Company.
Exteriors and establishing shots will go on in Wyoming for two weeks before a month of shooting in Denver, a member of the production team told Playbill On-Line.
The film, expected to be seen in the fall on HBO, opens up the story that was highly presentational and theatrical in its February 2000 world premiere by Denver Center Theatre Company (in association with Tectonic) and in spring 2000 at Off-Broadway's Union Square Theatre. The play concerns a group of New York theatre people — writers and actors who make up the Tectonic Theater Company — who traveled to Wyoming to interview citizens in the aftermath of the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, in 1998. The actor writers processed their interviews into monologues and scenes, and created The Laramie Project, a kind of unique, stylized theatrical journalism that played Denver, Off Broadway (May-September 2000) and has since had regional productions.
The film chronicles and fleshes out the trips the artists took to Laramie and environs and there are now some 60 speaking parts in the film, compared to a play that originally had a cast of 8 playing all the roles. Some of the original cast members appear in the picture. Marquee names such as Peter Fonda, Christina Ricci, Steve Buscemi, Janeane Garofalo and Laura Linney are among actors playing the regional characters who were witness , directly or indirectly, to the murder that made international headlines.