The Stonewall Inn, which was the site of the 1969 uprising that ignited the modern Gay Rights movement, received National Historic Landmark Status from President Obama June 24, making it the first LGBTQ establishment in the history of the U.S to receive this distinction.
“I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one,” Obama said in a statement.
To celebrate this milestone, and in a stand of solidarity with those who were attacked and killed at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub June 12—like Stonewall, it was a safe haven for the LGBTQ community that was met with brutality—members of the theatre community descended on Stonewall June 20 to not only commemorate history, but to take part in it. The exclusive portrait series was shot by photographer Eric McNatt.
Playbill was honored to host an array of theatremakers and activists including the cast and creators of Fun Home, playwright Douglas Carter Beane (The Nance), performer Justin Vivian Bond (Kiki & Herb), activist and writer Kate Borenstein, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' Tom Viola, writer and drag legend Charles Busch, actress and activist Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black), writer and activist Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, Kinky Boots, Casa Valentina), Oscar winner Joel Grey (Cabaret), actor Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Tuck Everlasting), producer and activist Tom Kirdahy (The Visit, Mothers and Sons), Tony winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Homosexual’s Guide...), singer and gay icon Lorna Luft, activist and songwriter Griffin Matthews (Invisiible Thread), actor Howard McGillin (The Phantom of the Opera), Tony-winning writer and activist Terrence McNally (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Kiss of the Spider Woman), director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), Tony winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), actor and BroadwayCon co-founder Anthony Rapp (Rent), Kennedy Center Honoree Chita Rivera (West Side Story, Kiss of the Spider Woman), Jujamcyn president and Trevor Hero Honoree Jordan Roth, playwright and essayist Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey), Tony winner Stephen Spinella (Angels in America), activist and actor George Takei (Allegiance), LGBT Center of New York's Glennda Testone, Gay Rights pioneer Edith Windsor, Tony winner BD Wong (M Butterfly) and more.
Playbill would like to extend its thanks to Stonewall Inn owner Kurt Kelly for welcoming us to take part in LGBTQ history.