TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT is an award-winning company whose plays have been performed around the world. The company is dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with our audiences on the social, political and human issues that affect us all. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops, and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students around the country in our play-making techniques.
Tectonic Theater Project was founded in 1991 by Moisés Kaufman and Jeffrey LaHoste. Tectonic refers to the art and science of structure and was chosen to emphasize the company’s interest in construction– how things are made, and how they might be made differently.
Its groundbreaking plays, The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and I Am My Own Wife, have sparked national discourse about their subjects and have inspired artists and audiences worldwide.
In the early years of Tectonic, the company staged works by writers who were testing the boundaries of the theatrical form: Samuel Beckett, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Sophie Treadwell and Naomi Iizuka. In time, however, Kaufman realized that in order to be rigorous about exploring theatrical form, the company had to deal with the issue of text. Thus, he set about writing his first play, Gross Indecency, based on transcripts, biographies, letters and other found materials about the life and work of Oscar Wilde.
Tectonic followed Gross Indecency with another bold experiment in form: The Laramie Project. One month after the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, Kaufman and ten company members traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to interview people in the town torn apart by the crime. The play forged from these interviews was created collaboratively by the members of the company over a long workshop process in which participants were encouraged to operate outside their area of specialization. Thus, actors and designers became writers and dramaturgs, directors became designers and actors, and the company uncovered a new way of creating a theatrical event.
Tectonic continues to employ these techniques in creating some of the most unique and innovative works on the American stage.