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About Straight White Men

It’s Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout. But when a question they can’t answer interrupts their holiday cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities. Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee takes a hilariously ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama. This is one white Christmas like you’ve never seen before.

By Young Jean Lee

Directed by Anna D. Shapiro

With Kate Bornstein, Josh Charles, Ty DeFoe, Armie Hammer, Stephen Payne, Paul Schneider

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As with all holiday weekends spent at home with family, tensions are high and true colors emerge in Young Jean Lee’s “Straight White Men.” It’s Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three grown sons at home to celebrate. Drew, a celebrated fiction writer, and Jake, a well-off banker, journey back to the Midwest to join Matt, the oldest and least successful of the three — he’s been living at home with their father for a while now.

A seemingly ordinary holiday quickly turns hostile, though, when Matt breaks down into tears, conversations concerning a straight white man’s purpose come to the forefront. Is the privileged white guy, who once studied at Harvard, cracking under pressure to follow society’s master plan? And what exactly is the marker to measure his success? In “Straight White Men,” questions like these are explored beside the Christmas tree.

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What To Watch For

  • “Straight White Men” marks the first Broadway play by an Asian-American female playwright.
  • “Call Me By Your Name” actor Armie Hammer makes his Broadway debut as Drew, the fiction writer, in “Straight White Men.”
  • Playwright Young Jean Lee identifies most closely with the character of Matt. In fact, she says, “Matt is me. If I woke up tomorrow as a single white male, I would have a crisis.”
  • “Straight White Men” premiered off Broadway at the Public Theater in 2014 to rave reviews, and Anna D. Shapiro, who helms the Broadway production, produced the play at Steppenwolf Theatre, where she’s the artistic director, in 2017.

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Explosively entertaining...attitudes and anxieties on display
The Washington Post
Smart, funny, and unsettling…an insightful look at families, privilege, and much more. Captures the activities and antics of straight white men brilliantly
Fascinating! A compassionate and stimulating new play written and directed by the ever-audacious Young Jean Lee
The New York Times

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