Due to Hurricane Florence in September 2018, Moisés Kaufman’s visit was rescheduled for Monday & Tuesday, April 8 and 9, 2019.   

See below for a detailed schedule of events taking place during the Spring semester! All events are free and open to the public. 

The Common Reading Program at Appalachian State is pleased to announce the 2018-19 book selection:  The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project.  The Laramie Project is a play about the community of Laramie, Wyoming in the aftermath of the 1998 tragic murder of Matthew Shepard, who was a gay student at the University of Wyoming.  The murder was denounced as a hate crime and sparked a national debate. 

Members of the Tectonic Theater Project flew from New York City to Laramie and interviewed over 100 members of the community about their reactions to the murder and to the media attention that engulfed their town.  The resulting play presents the perspectives of multiple people simultaneously, including the citizens of Laramie, members of the Tectonic Theater Project, and members of the media.  The themes that emerge from this documentary-style play transcend the small town of Laramie, making The Laramie Project one of the most performed plays in America.  Matthew Shepard was killed 20 years ago this fall.  

Director of the Common Reading Program, Dr. Martha McCaughey, said, “The Laramie Project represents a creative and illuminating response to an act of inhumane violence.  The various perspectives about exclusion, violence, and community membership offered by The Laramie Project are quite relevant for our incoming first-year students, whom we hope will engage in discussions about the issues that shape our community.” 

Jason Marsden, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, stated, “Over the last two decades, Judy Shepard has delivered her message of inclusion and compassion to more than 800 colleges, workforces, and community organizations.  I can easily say that Appalachian State's 2018 programs are amongst the rare few that include such a comprehensive, and impressive, set of events around the common theme of erasing hate.”

The Laramie Project is for sale at the University Bookstore.  Each first-year student will receive a special edition of the book during their summer orientation visit.  Student survey data show that 93% of incoming first-year students read some or all of the book before they arrive on campus to start the fall semester.  In providing first-year students with a common book, the Common Reading Program supports a culture of intellectual engagement, both inside and outside the classroom, and helps students develop an appreciation of the authorial and creative process.

Spring 2019 Events 

Tuesday, March 12
“After Equality: Where Should the LGBTQ Movement Go From Here?”  Faculty Panel

5:00 - 6:30 pm

Belk Library, Room 114

Organized by the Department of Sociology and the Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies Program


Angela Brooks-Livingston - Out in the High Country

Jill Ehnenn - Department of English and Affiliate Faculty of Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies Program

Matthew Thomas-Reid - Department of Leadership and Educational Studies and Affiliate Faculty of Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies Program


Sunday, April 7

Film Screening: The Laramie Project 


7:00-8:30pm I.G. Greer Theatre

Concessions available: Drinks $1, candy $2, and popcorn $3, $4, & $6 --CASH  ONLY!

Appalachian Popular Programming Society Films Council

Monday, April 8
Moisés Kaufman - Lecture - 
"Theater in 2018 - The Vicinity of Hope"

7:00 - 8:30pm Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, April 9 
Moisés Kaufman - Reading and Book Signing

9:30 - 11:00am Grandfather Mountain Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union


Tuesday, April 16
Taste of Dialogue: Conversation on the Laramie Project Sustained Dialogue6:00 - 8:00pm  Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union 


Fall 2018 Events

Judy Shepard, the mother of the late Matthew Shepard and President of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, will speak at Black & Gold Convocation on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.  Throughout the academic year, McCaughey said, students will remain engaged with the book’s themes through Welcome Weekend discussions, their First Year Seminar classes, and at the events being held on campus. 

The Department of Theatre & Dance will be producing The Laramie Project, directed by Teresa Lee, Professor of Theatre. The play runs from Oct. 2-Oct. 9 in Valborg Theatre (except Oct 6). Tickets to the play can be purchased here.  

The stage goes dark (no performance) on Saturday, Oct. 6--the 20th anniversary of the brutal beating of Matthew Shepard--and that evening at 7:00pm there will be a candlelight vigil remembering Matthew Shepard and all victims of hate.  The event, organized by Appalachian's LGBT Center, will be held in the Parkway Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union. The vigil runs from 7:00-8:00pm. (Please note: flameless candles only at this event.)




Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. This program is an exciting facet in Appalachian's orientation of new students to life on our campus.