Celebration Theatre awards gala in March 2024

Honorees have been announced! The annual benefit for Celebration Theatre will be held at Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year will honor creative heroes of the arts community, notably artists Boni Alvarez, Socks Whitmore, and David Tran for LGBTQ+ arts advocacy.

From the press release:

Celebration Theatre, one of the world’s longest-running LGBTQ+ arts nonprofits, hosts its annual awards gala Saturday, March 23, 2024, 2-5 pm, to celebrate its arts community’s creative heroes and raise critical funds during an entertaining afternoon of special appearances and festivities. Hosted at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the event recognizes the body of work of Boni Alvarez (he/him) with its 2024 Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award for “groundbreaking and distinguished achievements in LGBTQ+ playwriting and arts advocacy.” Since 2014, Celebration Theatre has given the award named for theatre founder and gay rights luminary, Chuck Rowland; past recipients have included Robert Patrick, Michael Kearns, Tom Jacobson, Patricia Loughrey, Billy Porter, Roger Q. Mason, and Del Shores.Additionally, the awards show will honor LGBTQ+ theatre maker Socks Whitmore (they/them) with the Vibrant Voice Award for “emerging theatremakers contributing to queer & intersectional stories” and David Tran (he/him) with “The O’Hara” Appreciation Award, which recognizes one of the theatre’s volunteer company members who has gone “above and beyond.”

Special guests to be announced soon. Patrons will enjoy a remarkably entertaining way to honor our own while supporting Celebration Theatre’s next main-stage musical, Songs For A New World! Celebration Theatre entertains, inspires, and empowers with innovative productions that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As our rights, safety, and identities come under renewed and vicious attacks across the country, the theatre’s mission to amplify queer joy, pride, and visibility is as important as ever. Attendees will help achieve the event funding goal of $25,000 with their ticket purchase, silent auction bids, and sharing gala info with others.

The event begins in the beautiful Courtyard with a VIP Hour, including a champagne welcome, Westward Whiskey tasting, and meet & greet with honorees and talent. Guests will then move into the Renberg Theatre for a one-hour Awards Show, directed by company member Alli Miller (she/her). The event concludes with a Courtyard Celebration with live music, silent auction winners, light bites, and clinking glasses (mocktails, included). Join us for a good cause and a great afternoon soiree!


A fundraising benefit to support the theatre’s 2023-2024 season. Tickets range from $20 – $99. Tickets available at

CELEBRATION HONORS will take place at The Village at Los Angeles LGBT Center, 1125 N. McCadden Place in Los Angeles.


2PM | VIP Hour

3PM | Awards Show

4PM | Courtyard Celebration

EVENT SPONSORS: Micky’s WeHo, Westward Whiskey


BONI B. ALVAREZ (he/him), the son of Filipino immigrants, hails from East Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He is a Los Angeles-based playwright-actor who has written over twenty plays, including Sticky Rice; Bloodletting; America Adjacent; Apartment Living; Fixed; Nicky; Dallas Non-Stop; Marabella; Driven; and Ruby, Tragically Rotund.  His plays have been produced at Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre, Echo Theater Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, Skylight Theatre Company, Pork Filled Productions, Theatre Rhinoceros, and Playwrights’ Arena. In Los Angeles, his plays have been developed at Geffen Playhouse; Chalk Rep; Moving Arts; Artists At Play; A Noise Within Theatre; East West Players; Greenway Court Theatre; The Blank; The Vagrancy; and EST/LA.  Nationally, his plays have been developed at Miami New Drama; San Diego Rep; Second Generation (2g, NYC); InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia); Playwrights Foundation (San Francisco); and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  He earned an MFA in Acting from the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the USC School of Dramatic Arts, where he is currently on faculty.  He is a member of Odyssey Theatre’s Writers’ Odyssey and a Resident Playwright of New Dramatists.  Upcoming in May 2024: the world premiere of Mix-Mix: The Filipino Adventures of a German Jewish Boy, produced by Playwrights’ Arena and Latino Theatre Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. 

SOCKS WHITMORE (they/them/theirs) is an agender/gender non-conforming performer, composer, and storyteller rooted in voice and text. As a stage, screen, & voice actor, Socks has originated roles of all genders in musicals, immersive theater, feature films, animations, podcasts, video games, and audiobooks. On fancier occasions, they’ve performed in renowned spaces such as the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Socks’ creative work as a creative musician and wordsmith spans from live performance to digital media to print, including music theater, choral music, audio dramas, narrative design for games, poetry, short fiction, op-eds, and more. Their collaborations for stage include the opera MARROW, Back to One: A Coming of Self Musical, and the mental health musical, We Are Here. Socks has been produced by New Musicals Inc., Overtone Industries, & Feminist Fairytales, and published by American Composers Forum, Sappho Small Talk, Translash Media, & Queer Quarterly magazine, among others. They are also a staff critic with Stage Raw and a board member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. To top it all off, Socks is a co-founder & facilitator of the trans vocal group 8TPS, a producing partner at the trans-led events production company,, and the creative director at the gender-expansive Bolero Game Studio. A self-described “professional overachiever,” Socks likes to keep busy—if they’re not on stage, set, or their laptop, they can be found watching bad movies and amassing large amounts of socks. 

DAVID TRAN (he/him) is a graduate of Orange County School of the Arts’ Drama Conservatory. He then ventured outside of the OC bubble to complete Bill Alderson’s two-year Meisner acting program. David has worked on various theatrical projects for CBS, CW, MTV, and Nickelodeon. Stage highlights include Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Dandy Minion), Martin Sherman’s Bent (Rudy), Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God (Beethoven), and Terrance McNally’s Corpus Christi (Thomas). When he’s not at home watching reruns of “Golden Girls” and other 90s sitcoms with his Labrabull, he is out in the field flexing his other creative muscle in the fashion industry as a Visual Merchandising Manager & Stylist, or helping out Celebration Theatre, where he’s been an active company member since moving to Los Angeles.

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Celebration Theatre is one of the nation’s oldest LGBTQIA+ theatres. Founded in December 1982 in a Silverlake storefront, the nonprofit was expressly organized as a community theatre “of, by, and for gay and lesbian people and their friends.” Since then, the Los Angeles-based company has mounted theatrical productions representative of, and in support of, the queer community: with a sharp focus on inclusion, visibility, and pride. GLAAD, NAACP, local theatre awards, and many other benchmarks for excellence have recognized the theatre and its artists— performers, writers, directors, designers, musicians, and producers. Scores of LGBTQIA+ luminaries have graced Celebration’s stages over the years as it continues to provide an inspiring and empowering forum for professional and emerging artists, giving voice to the evolving experience of queer culture. Tax-deductible donations can be kindly accepted at: CELEBRATIONTHEATRE.ORG.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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