Tyler Clementi tragically made headlines when he jumped off of the George Washington Bridge in 2010 after his roommate filmed him kissing another man on his webcam and shared the footage with others at their school, Rutgers University.
His brother James Clementi and his parents have worked on becoming LGBT advocates to help spread Tyler’s story and to denounce bullying.
As it turns out, they are not the only ones spurred to action by Tyler’s story. Christopher Shinn wrote a play inspired by Tyler’s tragedy entitled Teddy Ferrara. It is currently in previews and officially premieres in Chicago on February 11 at the Goodman Theater. “I thought a lot about committing suicide in high school and during my college years, and though I never really came close, I felt like I understood something about a psyche that wants to die,” said Shinn. He said the play is not only based on Clementi’s story, but his own.
Shinn has been nominated for a Pulitzer for his work in the past, and hopes to get this newest piece to Broadway. “I think my work does try to convey what I believe about reality, and I’d certainly prefer if people saw things more the way I do,” said Shinn. “If you don’t bully people, maybe they’ll be comfortable with you even if you’re very different from them in world view — or some other way.”