Young Jean Lee's STRAIGHT WHITE MEN Heads to the Kirk Douglas Theatre This Year

Center Theatre Group, in collaboration with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, will present the West Coast premiere of Young Jean Lee's newest work, the acclaimed play "Straight White Men," November 20 - December 20, 2015, at CTG's Kirk Douglas Theatre, it was announced today by CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie.

"Straight White Men," will be presented in the 2015-2016 season at the Douglas.

In his "Best Theater of 2014" list in The New York Times, Charles Isherwood wrote, "Is there anything Young Jean Lee cannot do?," and described Lee as a "remarkably versatile and inquisitive playwright." Isherwood has also called her "hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation." Over the course of the 12 years since she founded Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, the writer-director has confronted some of America's most pervasive cultural stereotypes with acerbic wit while continuing to experiment with theatrical forms.

In "Straight White Men," written and directed by Lee and co-commissioned by CTG, Lee offers a traditionally structured take on the classic American father-son drama. Ed and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas. They enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese, and find themselves confronting a problem that even being a happy family can't solve: when identity matters, and privilege is problematic, what is the value of being a straight white man?

"I am very proud that CTG will be presenting 'Straight White Men' and that this play was helped along the way in its development with a CTG completion commission made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation," said Ritchie. "Young Jean Lee is remarkably inventive and creative. Her work is cunning in its insight into what we all thought we knew a lot about - the straight, white male."

Previews will begin November 20, 2015, with the opening set for November 22. Performances will continue through December 20. The balance of the Kirk Douglas Theatre's new season will be announced in early June, at which time season tickets will be available for purchase. For further information, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org.

"Straight White Men" made its world premiere at the Wexner Center for the Arts in April 2014, followed by a New York premiere at The Public Theater in November 2014, at which time Isherwood stated, "Although the title might suggest a scalpel-sharp dissection of the privileged elite, Ms. Lee's play was more than an anatomy of a class: it was a compassionate study of one man's uneasy search for meaning, and his discovery that, in the world of straight white men, failure may be acceptable, but being content with a disappointed life is most definitely not."

"Straight White Men" was co-commissioned by Center Theatre Group, The Public Theater, the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, steirischer herbst, Festival d'Automne a? Paris, and Les spectacles vivants du Centre Pompidou. It was produced by Young Jean Lee's Theater Company (Young Jean Lee, Artistic Director; Aaron Rosenblum, Producing Director).

Funding support for "Straight White Men" is generously provided by the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program; the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

"Straight White Men" was developed at Brown University's Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Providence, RI. Residency support was provided by the Park Avenue Armory, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Columbia University, and Spaceworks NYC, a non- profit real estate organization dedicated to expanding the supply of long-term, affordable rehearsal and studio space for NYC artists.

Pictured: Austin Pendleton, Gary Wilmes, Pete Simpson, and James Stanley in STRAIGHT WHITE MEN off-Broadway in 2014. Photo by Carol Rosegg.



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