Fast Facts

  • Played Snoopy in a high-school production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and was also in the casts of Arsenic and Old Lace and Our Town.
  • Converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after enrolling at Brigham Young University.
  • At BYU, met actor Aaron Eckhart, who has appeared in a number of his films.
  • Worked in mental hospitals in New York and Utah while in graduate school.
  • Starred in the 1986 slasher comedy High School Spirits. 
  • Early in his career, was asked by church leaders to no longer write about Mormon characters.
  • Shot 1997's In the Company of Men in less than two weeks and for about $25,000, which was invested by two friends and was the money they received as part of an insurance settlement from an auto accident.
  • Had fictional pieces published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Playboy; a collection of short stories was published in 2004.
  • The LaBute New Theater Festival for professional playwrights and high-school students is held by the St. Louis Actors' Studio in Missouri.


  • 2009, Tony — Play: Nominee
  • 1997, Sundance Film Festival — Filmmakers Trophy: Dramatic: Winner
  • 1998, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Screenplay: Winner
  • 1998, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature under $500,000: Nominee


  • Marian LaBute — Mother
  • Lisa Gore — Wife
  • Lily LaBute — Daughter
  • Spencer LaBute — Son
  • Richard LaBute — Father


  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, United States (BA in Theater, 1985); University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States (MA); New York University, New York, New York, United States (MFA in Dramatic Writing)