Hit the Wall

Ike Holter
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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 into 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 HIT THE WALL. Remixing this historic confrontation reveals ten unlikely revolutionaries, caught in the turmoil and fighting to claim “I was there.”

Production Info

Cast: 10 total (3 female, 7 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
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Press Quotes

“The words ‘I was there,’ intoned repeatedly by the characters in HIT THE WALL, give Ike Holter’s play about the 1969 Stonewall riots the self-consecrated holiness of solemn testimony. But the crucial refrain is: ‘The reports of what happened next are not exactly clear.’ Given the extent to which urban legend and documented research of the events have blurred together over the decades, any dramatic consideration of Stonewall must embrace the mythology. So Mr Holter’s impassioned evocation of the sparks that ignited the gay rights movement … are strongest when stylized interpretation eclipses conventional realism … Watching the characters strut through a liberating dance that erupts into chaos and violence when police lights pierce the smoky haze gives the sense of being caught up in that momentous clash … Among the most fully realized figures are Carson, a black drag queen as fearful as he is imperious; Peg, a ‘stone butch’ lesbian ostracized by her family; and the ‘Snap Queen Team’ of Tano and Mika, throwing shade at passers-by from their perch on a Christopher Street stoop. The play is deeply affecting at times, notably when Carson is bitterly rebuked during a rare foray outside in daylight to pay his respects at the funeral of Judy Garland. Or when Peg’s uptight sister insensitively suggests how much better off she would be if she could just ‘hold it in.’ … [We] feel the unendurable pain of self-denial … What’s perhaps more significant is that Mr Holter is working in a vernacular that speaks sincerely and directly to today’s gay youth. His freewheeling play invites them to honor the earlier generation that broke the chains of marginalization and invisibility.” —David Rooney, The New York Times

About the Author


  • Ike Holter

    Ike Holter is a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theater and has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep and The Playwrights' Center. His work has been produced across the country from the Goodman and Steppenwolf in Chicago to the Lily Tomlin Center in LA to Primary Stages Off-Broadway. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 7/22/2019
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881458459

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

The world premiere of HIT THE WALL was presented by The Inconvenience
and performed as part of GARAGE REP:
three productions presented in rotating repertory in The Garage at Steppenwolf, Chicago, IL.
Chris Chmelik, Artistic Director and Missi Davis, Executive Director

Originally produced Off Broadway by the Barrow Street Theatre

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Hit the Wall is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


11/14/2019 – 11/17/2019
Mixed Precipitation
Minneapolis, MN

6/27/2019 – 6/27/2019
Mixed Precipitation
Minneapolis, MN


4/2/2025 – 4/5/2025
Bayside, NY

11/14/2023 – 12/2/2023
Penn State University
University Park, PA

11/2/2023 – 11/12/2023
Usc School Of Dramatic Arts
Los Angeles, CA

8/19/2023 – 8/20/2023
Qc Concerts
Charlotte, NC

2/18/2022 – 2/27/2022
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

2/4/2022 – 2/12/2022
Northern Illinois University
Dekalb, IL

2/14/2020 – 2/22/2020
School Of Theatre & Dance, Illinois State University
Normal, IL

1/31/2020 – 2/8/2020
University Of Iowa Dept Of Theatre Arts
Iowa City, IA