Don’t look now, but it’s been 17 years since John Cameron Mitchell premiered and starred in his raucously eccentric musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Off-Broadway. In the ensuing years, Mitchell worked to refine the film adaptation of Hedwig at the 1999 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs before eventually premiering the film at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. There, Hedwig immediately enticed audiences and garnered instant “cult classic” designations from critics while also winning the Audience Award and the Directing Award.
This year’s Oscar host, Neil Patrick Harris, helped bring the play to Broadway in 2014 by starring as Hedwig, and for 2015 John Cameron Mitchell has reprised his role for the first time since the play’s initial theatrical run. To celebrate, we take a look back at some archival shots of Mitchell at the Sundance Labs, the Sundance Film Festival, and stills from the film.