May 23, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LGBTQ+ Historical Drama, “Twentieth Century Way” at Long Beach Playhouse

As the play-within-a-play unfurls, theatre attendees will leave, feeling the urgency to help the fellow Man.

The Long Beach Playhouse’s “The Twentieth Century Way” is based on true events. It marks a dark chapter in Long Beach history. In 1914, the Long Beach Police Dept. hired two actors to entrap “social vagrants” (read: homosexuals) in public restrooms, beach dressing rooms and private parties.

Photo: Courtesy Michael Hardy Photography.
Christian Jordan Skinner (BROWN), Noah Wagner (WARREN)

Actors Noah Wagner and Christian Jordan Skinner play the rolls of the actors Warren and Brown (who jump between characters based on real people from history). Through the course of the play, the audience learns that 31 men were arrested in a sting operation (under California Penal Code 647(a): Engaging in or Soliciting Lewd Conduct in Public). All but two were coerced into pleading guilty.  One committed suicide from the shame. Only two sued and won.

It becomes apparent that the actors are actually characters-within-characters too, a true nesting doll-esque production. This is a direct commentary on being closeted, never quite fitting one’s natural born role of themselves.

Director Reed Flores says in the program that the play reflects the fact that society has a way to go until “we create an environment where we no longer have to improvise and create a new ‘us.'”

The two actors explore sexual identity, institutional corruption, self-deception and the mysteries of the craft of the theatre. Set over 100 years in the past, the themes and messages in “The Twentieth Century Way” still seem to strike a familiar cord.

“The events in this play are shocking – and yet not shocking,” Artistic Director Sean Gray said in a press release. “There are still those who endorse this kind of prejudice and punishment of LGBT people.”

“The Twentieth Century Way” is running now through Aug. 18 in the Studio Theatre at the Long Beach Playhouse on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy Michael Hardy Photography.
Christian Jordan Skinner (BROWN), Noah Wagner (WARREN)

For more information, visit www.lbplayhouse.org/show/twentieth-century-way

Warning: This Production contains Strong Adult Content and Full Nudity.

This article was updated on August 6, 2018. 

Related Posts

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...

Nobel Laureate and Education Activist Malala Yousafzai to Speak in Beverly Hills

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

May 15, 2022 at Saban Theatre Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel recipient and activist for education and equality is coming...

Compton Man Arrested for Allegedly Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men He Met on Grindr

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20...

Mars Wright, ProjectQ Mural in Hollywood Illuminates “Trans Joy”

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne A two-building mural in East Hollywood commissioned by nonprofit ProjectQ represents Trans joy designed and painted by...

L.A. County Business to Florida, Texas Banned Amid LGBTQ Policies

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has voted to ban all county travel to Florida and Texas due to policies...

Superior Court Rules Diverse Company Board Laws Unconstitutional

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

On the first of April, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled the law which requires California-based or headquartered...

Models of Pride Festival Returns in Person, Online

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mayhem Miller glanced at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Models of Pride Festival crowd, ready to...

Anti-LGBTQ+ Attack in Pasadena Sparks Active Hate Crime Investigation

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

By Susan Payne The Pasadena Police Department needs public assistance in finding the individuals responsible for attacking three Ixtapa Cantina...