McADAMS: I was surprised at how suburban it is. I really expected to find cowboys in Wyoming, but Laramie is a university town. It could be anywhere.
PIEROTTI: One of the characters I play, Sergeant Hing, said in our interview that the media picture of Laramie was that people there had six fingers and sat around the porch playing the banjo. I never expected to find anything like that, but I definitely thought, "Okay, this place is going to be much less civilized and much more homophobic than New York City." I had an attitude that was quickly subverted; the people we met there were incredibly sophisticated in their thinking about this whole situation. There were a few who were homophobic, but just a few. And I would say I could have met them anywhere.
TM: But don't people who have so-called politically incorrect views tend to be less than outspoken about them?
PIEROTTI: Yes and no. A lot of the more homophobic individuals we met felt that they were progressive in their thinking, and were perfectly happy to explain why homosexuals are not quite as good as straight people. But I want to emphasize that that was such a small percentage of the people we met.
PARIS: I've spent a lot of time out west, and I grew up in a rural area that had some of that "new-found-suburbia" feel to it, so I wasn't surprised by what I found in Laramie.
McADAMS: The town was shocked by this death. Everybody said, "This is wrong." And it was maybe the first time that the country as a whole said "This is wrong" about a murder of this nature. Yet there's some real opposition to proposed hate crime legislation in Wyoming right now.
TM: How do you describe this kind of theater that Moisés Kaufman and you folks have developed?
ALL (more or less simultaneously): Tectonic!
McADAMS: I wasn't there so much for the writing of Gross Indecency, but it seems like it has evolved into a much more communal process. It's very exciting.
PARIS: This time, Moisés invited the company in from the very beginning, before there was even a fully formed idea for the play. When you have performers acting as dramaturgs and associate writers, I think that improves the final theatrical experience, because the actors have a sense of ownership of the material. You have a bigger stake in the show, because you were part of creating it. It's a very positive way of bringing a story to the stage.
PIEROTTI: Our goal in going to Laramie was to see if there was a play that we could write. And there was.