In the 2011 documentary Making the Boys, Mart Crowley recalls leaving his Mississippi hometown with the dream of writing a hit play. Realizing that Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill had already covered “all his material,” Crowley wondered, “What the hell do I do?” So the openly gay playwright decided to write about contemporary gay life, a subject Broadway hadn’t really explored. Crowley had long observed that omission from the New York theater scene. “We were very much a part of the culture,” he said. “We made the fucking culture.” His groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band, about a group of gay men at a birthday party, opened on April 14, 1968, and was an instant sensation.