Celebration was founded in 1982 by gay rights pioneer and co-founder of the Mattachine Society, Chuck Rowland, when he leased a storefront in Silver lake to start a community theatre dedicated to producing gay-themed material.
1951, Mattachine Society with Chuck Rowland highlighted. Photo Credit: John Gruber ]
In 1992, the company moved to a 64-seat equity waiver space in West Hollywood. The theatre’s vision became more audience-focused and quickly achieved major artistic recognition as an incubator for new works. Many shows have gone on to success in New York and beyond, including Pinafore!, A Language of Their Own, Naked Boys Singing!, Play It Cool, Supernormal Clutches, The Ballad of Little Mikey, Justin Love, and revolver. In 2013 Celebration moved from their Hollywood location and spent 2 years roaming LA in search of a more permanent space to call home. In 2015 Celebration got their wish and is now bring award winning theatre to the community from The Lex, at McCadden and Lexington in Hollywood.
Celebration has had some excellent leadership through the years. Former Artistic directors include Robert Scrock, Richard Israel, Derek Charles Livingston, John Michael Beck, and most recently, Michael A. Shepperd and Michael Matthews. Today, the demands of the professional operation are supported by Executive Director Michael C. Kricfalusi and Managing Director Michael O’Hara.
Celebration continues to provide a safe and supportive forum for professional and emerging LGBTQQIA writers, directors, designers, and performers, giving voice to the full experience of gay culture. And in the past decade, the theater has expanded outreach into its own community, offering educational and family programs, as well as partnering with numerous community organizations, like the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and Congregation Kol Ami.