The Laramie Project – Writer Biographies
Moisés Kaufman is a Tony and Emmy nominated director and playwright. His play 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda, was nominated for five Tony awards (including one for Ms. Fonda). Previous to that, Mr. Kaufman directed the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play I Am My Own Wife, earning him an Obie award for his direction as well as Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lucille Lortel nominations. His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project have been among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Mr. Kaufman also directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which was the opening night selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and won the National Board of Review Award, the Humanitas Prize, and a Special Mention for Best First Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The film also earned Mr. Kaufman two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting. Other credits include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Mark Taper Forum); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Public Theater); This Is How It Goes (Donmar Warehouse); One Arm by Tennessee Williams (Steppenwolf Theater Company); Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theater); and Lady Windermere’s Fan (Williamstown Theater Festival).
Leigh Fondakowski was the head writer on The Laramie Project, a co-writer of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, and an Emmy-nominated co-screenwriter for the HBO adaptation of The Laramie Project. She has been a member of Tectonic since 1994. Her original works as playwright/director include SPILL (Swine Palace, TimeLine Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2015 Kilroy List); The People’s Temple (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Theater Company, the Guthrie Theater, Glickman Award for Best New Play in the Bay Area 2005); and I Think I Like Girls (Encore Theater, Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Best Production, voted one of the top ten plays of 2002 by the Advocate). Leigh was a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a 2010 Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Minnesota, where she lectured and developed Casa Cushman, a work-in-progress about nineteenth-century American actress Charlotte Cushman. As director, she headed the national tour of The Laramie Project and Laramie: Ten Years Later, and co-directed The Laramie Cycle with Moisés Kaufman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She has directed and developed plays with playwrights Anne Marie Cummings, Colman Domingo, Laura Eason, Julia Jordan, Deb Margolin, Lisa Ramirez, Ellen Gordon Reeves, and Bennett Singer. In 2013, she released her first nonfiction book, “Stories from Jonestown,” and she is currently adapting it for film. Leigh is a teaching artist at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Naropa University.
Stephen Belber’s plays have been produced on Broadway and in over 25 countries. They include Match, Tape, Don’t Go Gentle, Dusk Rings a Bell, McReele, Finally, Geometry of Fire, Fault Lines, Carol Mulroney, A Small, Melodramatic Story, One Million Butterflies, The Power of Duff and The Muscles In Our Toes. Theaters where he has been produced include Roundabout, Atlantic, MCC, Primary Stages, Naked Angels, Labyrinth, Rattlestick, The Huntington and The Geffen. He was an Associate Writer on The Laramie Project, and co-writer on The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. Movies include Tape (directed by Richard Linklater), The Laramie Project(Associate Writer), Drifting Elegant, Management, starring Jennifer Aniston, and Match, starring Patrick Stewart, the last two of which he also directed. Television credits include Rescue Me, Law & Order SVU, and pilots for F/X, Amazon, The History Channel, FTVS and HBO. Upcoming films include O.G., starring Jeffrey Wright.
Greg Pierotti joined Tectonic Theater Project as an actor in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde in 1996. He was an actor and an associate writer on The Laramie Project. He was co-writer of the HBO teleplay The Laramie Project, for which he and fellow company members share a Humanitas Prize and an Emmy nomination. He was a co-writer on Laramie: Ten Years Later. As a writer and actor with Tectonic he has performed and developed original work at La Jolla Playhouse, Denver Center, Minetta Lane, Union Square Theater, Alice Tully Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Arena Stage, The Magic, The Atlantic Theatre Company, Sundance Theater Lab, and NYTW’s lab at Dartmouth. He has been a master teacher of Moment Work since 2004. He was head writer on Leigh Fondakowski’s The People’s Temple. He has developed his plays Apology and B More at Berkeley Repertory’s Ground Floor, The Orchard Project, The University of California–Davis, and at Maison Dora Maar in Ménerbes, France, where he was a Brown Fellow. He is a nominee for the Alpert Award in the arts in the category of theater. His latest research explores cross-pollinations between theater and anthropology. He uses theatrical devising techniques to help ethnographic writers create performance or to re-engage the empirical data they have collected in field research as they write. He is an assistant professor in the MFA of generative dramaturgy at the University of Arizona.
Stephen Wangh, has been a playwright, director, and teacher of acting. He is the author of An Acrobat of the Heart, a physical approach to acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski (Vintage, Random House, 2000) and of The Heart of Teaching: Empowering Students in the Performing Arts (Routledge, 2012). He is the author of 15 plays, and was one of the writers of The People’s Temple (Glickman award: Best play in the Bay Area, 2005). He was Associate Writer for The Laramie Project (Emmy nomination 2002), and dramaturg of Moisés Kaufman’s Gross Indecency, the three trials of Oscar Wilde (1997). For 20 years Steve taught acting in the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU. Then, for seven years he was Guest Faculty at the MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program at Naropa University where he taught physical acting and pedagogy. And now? He’s mostly writing, lecturing and leading pedagogy workshops