MSU Department of Theatre Revisits Stonewall Uprising of 1969

The Michigan State University Department of Theatre presents Ike Holter’s Hit the Wall, a story of the Stonewall Uprising and the generation that disrupted the marginalization and invisibility of the LGBTQIA+ community. The production runs from March 18-20 and 22-27 in the Auditorium Building’s Arena Theatre. Masks are optional but encouraged for audience members.

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. Holter’s remixing of this historic confrontation reveals 10 unlikely revolutionaries, caught in the turmoil and fighting to claim, “I was there.” 

Ten different headshots in a grid formation with two rows
The Cast of Hit the Wall (Photo by Teriah Nichole Artistry)

“The cold realities of injustice serve as a catalyst for change. With Hit the Wall, the Department of Theatre made a commitment to implementing anti-oppressive practices throughout all aspects of production, challenging learned assumptions, and amplification of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices,” said Director and Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Liz Gray. “This production is an opportunity to support our department in navigating critical dialogue with respect to belonging, inclusivity, and representation and to discover what it means to be an ally, advocate, and activist on and off stage.” 

In an effort to amplify local LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, each performance of Hit the Wall will be dedicated to a local organization or business identified by company members, including the Salus Center, Strange Matter Coffee, Roots Hair Lounge, and Wild Fern Wellness among others.  

The cast includes the eclectic collective, Otho Roi, a local Lansing band formed in 2017. The band is often commissioned for special performances and events, from Halloween cover shows to film scoring. Consisting of Teri Brown (vocals/bass/synth/guitar), Tom Larter (bass/guitar), Ryan Bilton (percussion), and Casey Bye (guitar-synth). 

Three headshots (top) and a photo of four people standing together (bottom)
Band Otho Roi and the Understudy Cast for Hit the Wall (Photo by Teriah Nicole Artistry)

Tickets for Hit the Wall are $23.50 for general admission, $21.50 for MSU faculty and staff and seniors, and $13.50 for students. Tickets are available online at, at the Wharton Center box office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON. 

Content notice: This production contains sexual content, simulated sexual violence, simulated violence, and adult language. Please note that this production includes charged language in connection to race, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression. Theatrical haze, fog, strobe lighting effects, and loud music will be used. 

Performance Dates and Times 

  • Friday, March 18, 2022, at 8 p.m. (MSU Gender & Sexuality Campus Center Night) 
  • Saturday, March 19, 2022, at 8 p.m. (Strange Matter Coffee Night) 
  • Sunday, March 20, 2022, at 2 p.m. (MSU Center for Survivors Night) 
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, March 25, 2022, at 8 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 2 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 2 p.m. 

    For complete information on the organizations and businesses being featured at each performance, visit: