Stonewall Drama Hit the Wall, Acclaimed in Chicago, Eyes Off-Broadway Run at Barrow Street

By Adam Hetrick
19 Oct 2012

Ike Holter's rock-propelled gay rights drama Hit the Wall, which premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Garage Theatre last winter, will debut Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2013, according to a casting notice.



Hit the Wall gives another side to the story of the birth of the gay rights movement outside New York City's Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969. The play, which was shaped and populated by the artist collective The Inconvenience, was a Chicago hit. A live band is featured. Critics embraced the gritty and gutsy take that promises stories from cultural revolutionaries who claimed, "I was there."

Eric Hoff, who staged the Chicago premiere, will also helm the Off-Broadway production that is aiming to begin previews in mid-February 2013 towards a March 2013 opening. The Barrow Street Theatre is located just blocks from the Stonewall Inn.

Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter, who also produce Barrow Street's current hit Tribes, are producing. The team flew to Chicago last spring to see Hit the Wall and had expressed interest in giving it a future New York life, according to the Chicago Tribune.

An official announcement of the production has not been made. 

As previously reported, Tribes is currently scheduled to end its extended run Jan. 6, 2013, at the Barrow Street Theatre.

Here's how Steppenwolf billed the play: "It's the summer of '69 and the death of music icon Judy Garland has emboldened her gay followers. A routine police raid on an underground Greenwich Village hotspot erupts in to a full-scale riot, the impetus of the modern gay rights movement. That's the well-known, oft-rehearsed myth of Stonewall, anyhow. Smash that myth against the vivid theatrical imagination of playwright Ike Holter, add a howling live rock 'n roll band, and you get the world premiere play, Hit the Wall. Remixing this historic confrontation reveals ten unlikely revolutionaries, caught in the turmoil and fighting to claim 'I was there.'"