(Chris Jones’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 2/19.)
We think we know what happened on the sticky-hot night of June 27, 1969, at a Greenwich Village bar known as the Stonewall Inn. A weary drag queen finally kicked a nasty cop, the story usually goes, leading to riots in the streets, a line in the sand and the beginning of the gay rights movement. So how would a young, small, low-budget, Chicago theater company credibly stage a play about a riot in the streets of lower Manhattan, a sacred riot to many, on the ground floor of the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre? And how might such a crew — not even around in 1969 — contextualize this familiar event anew?