Roger Q. Mason's LAVENDER MEN To Receive Chicago Premiere With About Face Theatre

The production will run at The Den Theatre from May 9 to June 8.

By: Apr. 02, 2024
Roger Q. Mason's LAVENDER MEN To Receive Chicago Premiere With About Face Theatre
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The critically-acclaimed play Lavender Men by Black Filipinx playwright, Kilroys List honoree, and Dramatists Guild Catalyst Fellow Roger Q. Mason will receive its Chicago debut withAbout Face Theatre this spring. The midwest premiere of the play, helmed by Lucky Stiff, will run May 9-June 8 at The Den Theatre.

Taffeta is a fat, multi-racial femme with a unique form of queer magic: she can conjure dead historical figures. In this energetic and surreal play, Taffeta invites audiences along as she summons none other than President Abraham Lincoln and his handsome young law clerk Elmer Ellsworth to her stage. Playing every other character in Abe and Elmer’s gay narrative, Taffeta uses this fantasia to confront issues of visibility, race, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. But is any of this historically accurate? Sit down, honey, that’s not what we’re here for. Lavender Menis an embrace to every queer, fat person of color who has been ignored, neglected, or erased for unapologetically being themselves. 

“Lavender Men was born from my time living and studying in Chicago, almost 10 years ago,” said playwright Roger Q. Mason. “The city’s vibrant embrace of LGBTQIA+ life liberated me personally and artistically, and I emerged a proud plus-sized, queer, POC playwright in the American Theatre. About Face Theatre is a leader, locally and nationally, in queer storytelling, and I am honored to partner with them to bring Lavender Men home to its birthplace—Chicago.”

Lavender Men received its World Premiere in 2022 with Skyline Theatre and Playwrights’ Arena in Los Angeles with critical and audience acclaim. 

Roger Q. Mason

(Playwright) (they/them) is a writer and performer who uses the lens of history to disrupt the biases that divide rather than unite us. Their playwriting has been seen on Broadway (Circle in the Square Reading Series); Off and Off-Off-Broadway; and regionally. Mason's World Premiere of Lavender Men was lauded by the Los Angeles Times as "evoking the mingled visions of Suzan-Lori Parks, Jeremy O. Harris and Michael R. Jackson." They are a recipient of the inaugural Catalyst Fellowship, awarded by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, in celebrations of theatre makers whose work impacts social justice and civic change through art. As a filmmaker, Mason has been recognized by the British Film Institute, Lonely Wolf International Film Festival, SCAD Film Festival, AT&T Film Award and Atlanta International Film Festival. Their films have screened in the US, UK, Poland, Brazil, and Asia. Mason holds degrees from Princeton University, Middlebury College, and Northwestern University. They are a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and an alum of the Ma-Yi’s Writing Lab, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group and Primary Stages Writing Cohort. Mason currently produces a memoir/cooking segment on Instagram called Cooking with Q: A Playwrights Guide to Telling My Trouble.  Previously, they co-hosted the podcast Sister Roger’s Gayborhood and hosted This Way Out Radio's Queerly Yours: Portraits in Courage. Mason has served as lead mentor of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s Starship Fellowship, the New Visions Fellowship and the Shay Foundation Fellowship. They are currently on faculty at CalArts. Instagram: @rogerq.mason

Lucky Stiff

(Director) (they/them) is a trans and nonbinary director, writer, and performer working in Chicago and New York. They build original experiences that combine nightclub culture and performance art which have been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Blue Man Group Chicago, Boy Friday Dance Company, and Bushwig Festival of Drag, among many others. They hold an MFA in Directing for Theater from Northwestern University and have lectured in performance and directing at UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

About Face Theatre advances LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance. Learn more at