Straight White Men




Directed by ANNA D. SHAPIRO


at The Hayes Theater: 240 West 44th Street

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.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


YOUNG JEAN LEE (Playwright) is a writer, director, and filmmaker who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by the New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She has written and directed ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service (Straight white Men and Church), Theatre Communications Group (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays; The Shipment and Lear; and We’re Gonna Die) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has written a screenplay commission for Plan B/Paramount Pictures. Her first short film, Here Come the Girls, was presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest. In 2013, she released her debut album, We’re Gonna Die, with her band, Future Wife. Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Doris Duke Artist Residency, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, and the ZKB Patronage Prize of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel. She has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Creative Capital, the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Arts Presenters/Ford Foundation Creative Capacity Grant, the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts: National Theater Project Award.

ANNA D. SHAPIRO (Director) won the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director for August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. In 2011 she received a Tony Award nomination for her direction of The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Broadway credits include Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, the revival of Steppenwolf’s production of This Is Our Youth and the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, which National Theatre Live selected as the first American production to be broadcast to over 700 cinemas across the US and Canada. Shapiro has directed many notable productions with Steppenwolf, including most recently Visiting Edna by David Rabe and Mary Page Marlowe also by Letts. Additional Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram, Up, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch (also at Playwrights Horizons), Letts’s Man from Nebraska, (named by TIME Magazine as one of the Year’s Top Ten of 2003), Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia and Colorado) and Letts’s adaption of Three Sisters, among others. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College and the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award, as well as the 2010 Princess Grace Statue Award. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995 as the original director of the New Plays Lab, joined the ensemble in 2005 and became Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 Season.


KATE BORNSTEIN (Person In Charge #1) is a celebrated performance artist who’s toured nationally and internationally for over thirty years. Most recently, she performed “On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us” at La Mama in New York City. She is the subject of the documentary film, “Kate Bornstein Is A Queer and Pleasant Danger,” and appeared with Caitlyn Jenner on E! TV’s “I Am Cait.” Kate has also written six groundbreaking books, including “Gender Outlaw,” and “Hello, Cruel World.”

JOSH CHARLES (Jake) is an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award nominated film, television and stage actor. On stage, he was most recently seen at the Signature Theater in the world premiere of Annie Baker's The Antipodes. Other theater credits include: The Distance From Here (MCC, Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble), The Well-Appointed Room (Steppenwolf Theater), A Number (ACT), The Glass Menagerie (Long Wharf), and The Receptionist (MTC.) His first film role was in John Waters' 1988 film Hairspray. The next year, he co-starred in the Academy Award winning film Dead Poets Society. Other films include: Bird People, Norman, The Drowning, Amateur, Freeheld, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I Smile Back, Four Brothers, S.W.A.T., Threesome, Pie in the Sky, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, and Crossing The Bridge, Upcoming: Delorean. On television, Charles received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the CBS series "The Good Wife." Other television credits include: "Law And Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders," "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Wet Hot American Summer," "Masters Of Sex," "Drunk History," "Inside Amy Schumer," "In Treatment," and "Sports Night." He resides in New York with his family. 

TY DEFOE (Giizhig) (He| Him | They | We | Us) (Person In Charge #2) Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. Recent Off-Broadway credit: Masculinity Max (Directed by Dustin Wills, The Public Theater). Recent Television: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix). Grammy Award and 2017 Jonathan Larson Award winner. Book and lyrics, Clouds Are Pillows for the Moon with composer Tidtaya Sinutoke (Yale Institute for Musical Theatre, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop); Hart Island Requiem (The Civilians R&D Group, GoodSpeed Musicals); Red Pine (Native Voices at the Autry; IAIA of Santa Fe); The Way They Lived (by Micharne Cloughley with The Civilians at the Met). 

ARMIE HAMMER (Drew) has received critical praise and an Independent Spirit Nomination for Supporting Actor for his role in Luca Guadagnino’s film Call Me By Your Name, opposite Timothee Chalamet. Hammer will next star in Stanley Tucci’s film Final Portrait as American art critic James Lord. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival and will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in early 2018. He will also be seen in Boots Riley’s film Sorry to Bother You. Next year, which was just announced to screen in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Hammer will also star in Anthony Maras’ film, Hotel Mumbai, alongside Dev Patel.  He recently wrapped production on Mimi Leder’s On The Basis Of Sex, opposite Felicity Jones. The film is the story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and he portrays her husband, Martin. Earlier this year, Hammer voiced the role of “Jackson Storm” for Pixar’s Cars 3, and starred in Ben Wheatley’s film Free Fire alongside Cillian Murphy and Brie Larson. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, earning the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness. Hammer’s other film credits include Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, Birth of a Nation, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The Lone Ranger, The Social Network and J. Edgar, for which he received a SAG Award Nomination.

TOM SKERRITT (Ed) Best Actor Emmy winner for the series, “Picket Fences,” Skerritt is well known from his film work, including M*A*S*H, Turning Point (Best Supporting Actor Award, National Board of Review), Alien, A River Runs Through It, Steel Magnolias, Top Gun, and Contact, among others.  At UCLA, he studied film writing and theatre and mentored with Robert Altman, Hal Ashby and Ridley Scott.  In 1994 he received a Life Achievement Honor from UCLA; in 2007, a Life Achievement from Wayne State University followed with a Laureate Award from The Rainier Club in Seattle.  In 2011, he received the Saturn Best Guest Actor Award - TV. In 2004, along with other Hollywood transplants, he founded The Film School in Seattle, with a focus on feature storytelling. The success of the school, started the Red Badge Project, Storytelling for PTS Vets in VA Centers throughout the state of Washington. Recently, Skerritt founded Heyou Media, a New Media content company. He made his Broadway debut in 2013 in A Time to Kill.


The New Yorker: Real Gone Girl - Young Jean Lee's Identity Plays

 The Brian Lehrer Show: The Problems of "Straight White Men"

Neil Patrick Harris gives Armie Hammer advice for his Broadway debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live


 “★★★1/2 (out of 4)…fascinating and hugely arresting” - Chicago Tribune

“Explosively entertaining...attitudes and anxieties on display” - The Washington Post

"Fascinating! A compassionate and stimulating new play written and directed by the ever-audacious Young Jean Lee" - The New York Times

“Smart, funny, and unsettling…an insightful look at families, privilege, and much more. Captures the activities and antics of straight white men brilliantly” - Splash