THE WHITE DRESS to Begin Previews July 5 at Access Theater
THE WHITE DRESS, written by Roger Q. Mason and directed and choreographed by Adin Walker will have a limited engagement Summer run, July 5-20 at the Access Theater, 380 Broadway. Based on the playwright's true-life experience, this is a genderqueer coming-of-age tale for the they/them generation. www.thewhitedressplay.com
Meet the Howard family: Theo is a busy black attorney; Hazel is his dutiful Filipina wife; and their son is bright, promising Jonathan. No, fuck that - here's the Howard family:Theo has been pushed in the closet; Hazel's Tiger mom tactics have kept him there; and all Jonathan wants to do is kiss Winnie, wear femme clothes, and love themself. Part religious rite, part dance/performance, THE WHITE DRESS is Jonathan Howard's genderqueer coming-of-age journey through familial shaming, peer bullying, and unrequited love to redefine what male looks, sounds and feels like. Underscored live by Brooklyn-based DJ SunSon PDX and directed and choreographed by Adin Walker, THE WHITE DRESS features a music and movement score that accentuates Jonathan's odyssey to be free in their own skin. This upcoming production comes after an acclaimed workshop production as part of the Araca Project, which was advocated for by influencers including Condola Rashad and Sara Ramirez.
Playwright Roger Q. Mason's lauded script has been named Finalist for The Lark Playwrights' Week and the inaugural ScreenCraft Stage Play Prize, judged by David Lindsay-Abaire. It was also semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival and the first annual Shonda Rhimes Unsung Voices Fellowship.
The cast of THE WHITE DRESSfeatures C. Bain, Atticus Cain, Kevin Kantor, Stanley Mathabane, Aurea Tomeski.
Set Design is byRiw Rakkulchon; costume design is by Sarafina Bush; and lighting design is by Victoria Bain; Production Stage Management by Alison Fortune.
A Note from the Playwright:
"Your son is a faggot. You need to fix him." "That was my pediatrician's diagnosis of the wheezing, stuffy nose, and high temperature I exhibited that afternoon," explains Mason. "I was only 12 years old. For the doctor it was a tactless reaction to my "feminine" self-expression; you know, the usual: high voice, flamboyant hands, a hip swish or two - the classic, tell-tale signs. For my Filipino Catholic mother, it was confirmation of a suspicion she'd been harboring for a while, a tangible explanation for why I was "different" from my classmates at school. And for me, it was the beginning of an arduous adolescence punctuated by gender policing, girlfriend suggesting, and familial shaming. Till I left for college, I was made to feel that how I acted and who I was were embarrassing and wrong."
"My personal journey to overcome shame, permission, and embrace desire inspired the writing of THE WHITE DRESS. Like my adolescent self, Jonathan, the play's hero, quests for a space in which to live out loud. His desire to exist unapologetically mirrors not only my own, but also the dream of countless queer people in the US and across the globe. We are in the fight of our lives for visibility and acceptance. The White Dressposits that the fight starts at home - in our mother's boudoirs, on our playgrounds, in those psychic spaces to which we retreat when we're told we are wrong. The fight is long and hard; it's internal and external; and it's always painful. But, we emerge, and when we do, we know - unequivocally - that we are fine just the way we are. And no one can Take That away from us."
Roger Q. Mason (Playwright) is a Black, Irish, Filipinx, plus-sized, queer, gender non-conformist writer/performer of color. The intersection of his identities compels him to make work that employs performance media as agents for visibility and inclusion. At his core, he is a creature of the theatre. His work has been seen at such theatres as The Flea Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, New Group Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, Son of Semele Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, the Kraine Theatre, and the American Theatre of Actors. Recently, Mason has been commissioned by Hook and Eye Theatre, Company of Angels, Steep Theatre, The Fire This Time Festival and Serenbe Playhouse. He was a finalist for the Screencraft Stage Play Contest and Lark Playwrights' Week. He was a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Shonda Rhimes' inaugural Unsung Voices Fellowship. His writing has won a Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producers Award. He is published in Ano Ba Zine, The Dramatist, and Emerge - the Lambda Literary Journal.
On the success of his theatre work, he's begun writing for TV and film. Recently, he collaborated with director Lovell Holder (Some Freaks) and actors Terrell Carter (Empire) and Rick Cosnett (The Flash) on the queer Civil War film SOFTER. He's adapted his genderqueer coming-of-age play THE WHITE DRESS, his solo show AGE SEX LOCATION, and his short story SHE ASKED ME WHAT DOES JOY LOOK LIKE for film. As a performer, he's shared short stories, monologues, and performance works with audiences in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He is the subject of the internationally-acclaimed documentary OUR SKIN, which was nominated for the prestigious Iris Prize.
Mason holds a BA in English and Theatre from Princeton University, MA in English from Middlebury College and MFA in Writing for Screen + Stage from Northwestern University. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and a writer-in-residence at Skylight Theatre.
Adin Walker (Director and Choreographer) Off-Broadway and Regional Director/Choreographer credits include Allison Gregory's Not Medea and L M Feldman's Grace, or the Art of Climbing (Art House), Soft Butter (Ars Nova ANT Fest), The White Dress (Araca Project), One Arm (Chautauqua Theatre), Pin* and the Blue Fairy (Drama League Residency and Dixon Place), Gruesome Playground Injuries (TheaterLab NYC), Rent, and Singin' in the Rain (Princeton/McCarter.) Walker recently choreographed the world premiere of Storming Heaven based on the novel by Denise Giardina (West Virginia Public Theater), and he choreographed the NYC premiere of Jacob Jarrett's Normativity (NYMF), both of which were directed by his sister and frequent collaborator, Mia Walker. As choreographer, Walker has also collaborated with directors Alexandru Mihail, Tracy Bersley, Whitney Mosery, Dawn Monique Williams, Michael Alvarez, and Louisa Thompson. He has developed new work with Powerhouse/New York Stage and Film, the New Victory Theater, Arena Stage, Musical Theater Factory, OZ Arts Nashville, BAM, Chautauqua Theater Company, Art House Productions (Artistic Associate, 2017-2019), among others. Walker is associate director of Phantom Limb Company's now touring Butoh Dance and Puppetry spectacle Falling Out (BAM Next Wave 2018 premiere), was recently Yehuda Hyman's associate choreographer on the regional premiere of Indecent (Guthrie Theater), and assisted director May Adrales on the world premiere of Idris Goodwin's The Way the Mountain Moved (Oregon Shakespeare Festival.) He has danced principle roles in works by Karole Armitage, Maleek K. Washington, Christopher K. Morgan, and Alex Neoral. Walker graduated from Princeton University with degrees in English, Theater, and Gender & Sexuality Studies. He is a proud member of SDC. www.adinwalker.com
Performances of THE WHITE DRESS are on Wednesdays through Sundays at 8 pm.
Tickets for THE WHITE DRESSare $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seating. For tickets and more info, visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4252699