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Made in Harlem: Making the Boys

  • Shepard Hall 259 Convent Avenue New York, NY, 10031 United States (map)
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Co-presented by the Documentary Forum at CCNY, Third World Newsreel, and Maysles Cinema in Celebration of Stonewall 50

Thursday, May 2nd, 6:30pm
@ The City College of New York
Shepard Hall 259 Convent Avenue
Made in Harlem:
Making the Boys

Crayton Robey, 2011, 97 min
Crayton Robey's Making the Boys explores the enduring legacy of the Boys in the Band, the first-ever gay play (1968) and subsequent Hollywood movie (1970) to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Beloved by some for breaking new ground, and condemned by others for reinforcing gay stereotypes, the Boys in the Band sparked heated debate that endures to this day. Featuring interviews with its author Mart Crowley, surviving cast members, and a who's who from stage and screen, Making the Boys captures the behind-the-scenes drama and lasting legacy of this cultural milestone.

The Boys in the Band premiered on stage, off-broadway, on April 14th, 1968, 10 days after MLK's assassination and is representative of the seismic cultural shifts that were taking place in the period leading up to 1968, and after. Stonewall took place right in between the play's debut, and the premiere of the film in 1970.

Q&A with Making the Boys producer Douglas Tirola to follow screening.


This program is part of Made In Harlem: Class of ‘68
Fall 2018- Spring 2019

In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King (April 4th, 1968) and the subsequent riots throughout America’s tapestry of urban centers – a fruitful reformer’s zeal possessed the U.S. which lead in part to the dawn of Black and Ethnic Studies programs, and the first community colleges. More locally in Harlem the Studio Museum was founded, as well as the National Black Theater, and El Museo del Barrio. As well in 1968, galvanized by the assassination of MLK, the New York City Ballet’s first African American star Arthur Mitchell (1934-2018) began teaching at the Harlem School of the Arts, and formed what would become the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1969.

Made in Harlem: Class of ’68 unpacks and explores the period before, during, and after the birth of these key cultural institutions in Harlem, as well as their impact, a period where Black Power, the Civil Rights Era, and Black Arts Movement coalesced and helped forge new aesthetics, politics, understandings and philosophies – the legacy of which is found everywhere throughout the planet in the early 21st century.

As Harlem, the United States, and the planet goes through rapid transformation there is hunger and yearning for context, understanding and literacy of our shared, and often erased history. This is an opportunity to quench that thirst. Made in Harlem is programmed by Jessica Green.

This series is supported by the West Harlem Development Corporation.

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