On Monday (14 March) the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s production of Ike Holter’s groundbreaking play Hit the Wall swept the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards with the top prize as Outstanding Production. Performed from October 2015 – January 2016 with three extended runs at the Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, the riveting production also won Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Outstanding Lead Performance (Matthew Hancock), Outstanding Featured Performance (Charlotte Gulezian), Outstanding Direction (Ken Sawyer), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Matt Richter).
Hit the Wall recreated New York City’s underground gay nightspot, The Stonewall Inn, during the summer of 1969, when a routine police raid erupted into a fullscale riot, and ignited the modern LGBT rights movement.
Winners were announced at the Moss Theatre of New Roads School in Santa Monica.
“As I heard Ike Holter’s captivating script being read during a table read, I knew we could do something special with this beautiful play—and I was convinced that no other theatre in Los Angeles could do it justice than at the Los Angeles LGBT Center,”
said Center Cultural Arts Director Jon Imparato.
“This production chronicles the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement. The Center is the world’s largest provider of programs and services for LGBT people because of LGBT pioneers in New York City who stood their ground and fought back against authority to gain visibility and equal rights. We owe our lives to them.”
Produced in partnership with Sixth Avenue, Hit the Wall featured a cast of 10, a live three-piece rock band, original music by Anna Waronker (singer for That Dog) and Charlotte Caffey (of The Go-Go’s), and choreography. The Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre had been completely redesigned to make the production as immersive as possible, bringing audiences directly into the story and bringing the story to life.
For more information about the Center’s Cultural Arts, visit lalgbtcenter.org/cultural_education.