Violent protests and street demonstrations continued for the next several days in what became known as The Stonewall Riots, thrusting a group of unlikely revolutionaries onto the front lines of history and igniting one of the most influential social and political movements of the 20th century.
“Hit the Wall,” a new play by Ike Holter and directed by Eric Hoff, focuses on that wild and enigmatic first night of the riots, placing the audience just on the periphery of the conflict. With a cast of 13 actors and musicians, the play examines the dynamics before, during and after the riots as seen through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters.
While not based on actual people who were at the riots, Holter told The Broadway Blog that they are familiar associations of the kinds of people who would have been there, represented through a new and fresh perspective.
“We’re not trying to do a documentary piece or a historical piece. We are using this historical event to reflect the truth of the first night of the riots but not an actual reality as to how the evening played out,” said Hoff, “The accounts from that first night are so wildly different, so instead we’re trying to get to the essence of the event and why things boiled over to the point of people rebelling. We have these 13 unlikely characters all smashing together on this first night, which was scrappy and messy and disorganized but it was also tenacious and persistent and the energy was palpable.”
Hoff credits producers Scott Morfee, Tom Wirshafter and Jean Doumanian for assembling such an ambitious creative team — one that he is hoping will resonate with audiences.
“Hit the Wall” begins previews Feb. 19 at The Barrow Street Theatre in the heart of Greenwich Village. For more than 40 years, millions have gathered annually in this iconic New York neighborhood on the last Sunday in June to honor The Stonewall Riots.
Opening night is scheduled for March 10.
For ticket information click here.