STRAIGHT WHITE MEN

by Young Jean Lee
mainstage theater
SEP 7 -30/2018

STRAIGHT WHITE MEN
by Young Jean Lee

Ed and his sons are celebrating the holidays in their traditional style. As Jake and Drew sit around eating Chinese takeout, playing games, and pranking each other, it quickly becomes apparent that something is wrong with their brother Matt. This play is a searing satirical comedy that fearlessly examines identity and privilege and throws into question the value of being straight white men.

The play runs approximately 100 minutes without an intermission.

 

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MAINSTAGE SEASON

Straight White Men   | We Will Not Be Silent |   1776   |  Cardboard PianoBecoming Dr. Ruth

BLACKBOX PLAYS

Heartland  Still Standing

 

Dev Blair

Person in Charge

Dev Blair

Person in Charge

Dev Blair returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in excerpts of Baltimore and Good for Boston University Summer Orientation. They were last seen in Wig Out! (Company One Theatre) and have developed new work with both Fresh Ink Theatre and Company One Theatre. They are a senior BFA Theatre Arts major at the Boston University School of Theatre and recent participant in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art’s 3rd annual Undergraduate Playwrights’ Workshop. They are originally from Orlando, Florida and currently reside in Allston. After Straight White Men, Dev will continue work with the Haus of Blair performance collective to produce a collaborative mixtape in the fall, and move on to work on their thesis in the spring.

Shelley Bolman*

Matt

Shelley Bolman*

Matt

Shelley Bolman returns to New Repertory Theatre after appearing in Freud’s Last Session, Opus and Tartuffe. Other area credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Commonwealth Shakespeare); Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse); Three Sisters and Playboy of the Western World (Wellesley Repertory Theatre); Pinocchio and The Wizard of Oz (Wheelock Family Theatre); The Woman in Black and Billy Bishop Goes to War (Gloucester Stage Company); The Temperamentals (Lyric Stage); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Better Off Dead and Almost Maine (The Village Theatre Project); and Miss Holmes, A Christmas Story and And Then There Were None (Greater Boston Stage Company). Regional credits include Trumpery and Opus (Olney Theatre Center); Dial M for Murder and Bedroom Farce (Barnstormers Theatre); and Dracula and Inherit the Wind (Oldcastle Theatre). Mr. Bolman earned his BA from Vassar College and a Master’s in Education from Emerson College. He is also the Artistic Director of Theatre Espresso, a theater education company that performs interactive historical dramas about issues of social justice and the law in US history.

Ken Cheeseman*

Ed

Ken Cheeseman*

Ed

Ken Cheeseman returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Blackberry Winter, The King of Second Avenue, Bakersfield Mist, and Race. Local credits include: Choice, Ether Dome, Prelude to a Kiss, All My Sons, and A Civil War Christmas (Huntington Theatre Company); We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay, Doctor’s Dilemma, Othello, Three Farces and a Funeral, and The Merchant of Venice (American Repertory Theater); Marvin’s Room and One for the Money (Trinity Rep). Off-Broadway credits include The Master Builder (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New York Shakespeare Festival); King Lear (La MaMa); and Amphitryon, Scapin, The Cherry Orchard, and Dr. Faustus (Classic Stage Company). Regional credits include The Misanthrope (Long Wharf Theatre); Scapin (Yale Repertory Theatre); Travels with My Aunt and The Cherry Orchard (Baltimore’s Center Stage). Feature film roles include Joy, Shutter Island, Mystic River, Leaves of Grass, Malice, and Next Stop Wonderland and TV guest appearances on Monk, Law and Order, and Olive Kitteridge (HBO).  Mr. Cheeseman is a Senior Artist in residence at Emerson College.

Michael Kaye*

Drew

Michael Kaye*

Drew

MICHAEL KAYE* returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Good, Broken Glass, The Elephant ManAmadeusOpus, House With No Walls, and Silence. He also appeared in Good this past summer Off-Broadway (PTP/NYC). Other area credits include Mothers and Sons and Clybourne Park (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Uncle JackMonster, The Glass Menagerie, and Good (Boston Center for American Performance); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Book of Days (Lyric Stage Company); and various productions at Huntington Theatre Company and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Mr. Kaye serves as Assistant Professor of Acting at Boston University School of Theatre, where he earned both his BFA and MFA in Acting and Theatre Education respectively. Born in Chicago, he now lives in Sandwich, NH.

Dennis Trainor Jr.*

Jake

Dennis Trainor Jr.*

Jake

Dennis Trainor, Jr. returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Local credits include In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (SpeakEasy Stage); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Gloucester Stage); The Pain and the Itch (Company One); The Rainmaker (Foothills Theatre); November (Lyric Stage); The Sea Gull (The Publick). Mr. Trainor was a founding co-Artistic Director of the New York-based Rude Mechanicals Theater Company. He is the Producer-Director-Writer-Narrator of two documentaries: American Autumn, and Legalize Democracy as well as the former host of the nationally syndicated News and politics TV program Acronym TV. Mr. Trainor earned his MFA in Acting at The American Conservatory Theater and he is currently on the faculty at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Up next: Mr. Trainor’s one-man show, Manifest Destiny’s Child, is now in development. Originally from New York, he currently lives in Groton, MA.

Creative Team
Elaine Vaan Hogue, Director
Elaine Vaan Hogue

Director

Elaine Vaan Hogue (Director) is a director, actor, and teacher. Previous productions at New Repertory Theatre include directing Baltimore, The Amish Project, Imagining Madoff (Elliot Norton nominee for Outstanding Production), The Kite Runner, and co-curating the inaugural Next Rep Black Box Festival in 2014. Regional directing credits include A Disappearing Number (URT @ Central Square Theater); Metamorphosis (Boston Center for American Performance); Walking the Volcano (Boston Center for American Performance/Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Crave (Nora Theatre Company); Thin Air: Tales from a Revolution (Kansas City); Infinity’s House (Majestic Theatre); Fen (New Theatre); The Penelopiad, Execution of Justice, Lizzie Stranton, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Other Shore, Angels in America, Three Sisters, Pains of Youth, Polaroid Stories, Marisol, and many others (Boston University). As an actor she has performed in The Road to Mecca (Boston Center for American Performance); Creation: Mythic Weavings (Women on Top & Magdalena USA); When Jennie Goes Marching (Olney Theatre & Spontaneous Celebrations). She is a member of the Magdalena Project, an international network of women in contemporary theatre, and is a participant in an international cyber-performance group collaborating in All the Better To See You With (Odin Teatret), MagFest KISS (Amsterdam), trans-hack-feminist UpStage Jam (Eclectic Tech Carnival). Ms. Vaan Hogue serves as Program Head of Theatre Arts at Boston University. Originally from Los Angeles, she resides in Central Massachusetts.

Afsoon Pajoufar, Scenic Designer
Afsoon Pajoufar

Scenic Designer

Afsoon Pajoufar makes her Boston Center for American Performance and New Repertory Theatre debut. Boston area credits include Cabaret, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Boston University). Film credits include Ruined, Zoya, Remembering the Pentagons, and Nar. She received a BA in Painting from the Azad Art and Architecture University of Tehran and is currently pursuing an MFA in Scenic Design at Boston University. Originally from Tehran, Iran, she currently resides in Allston.

afsoonpajoufar.com

Chelsea Kerl, Costume Designer
Chelsea Kerl

Costume Designer

Bio coming soon!

Aja Jackson, Lighting Designer
Aja Jackson

Lighting Designer

Bio coming soon!

Lee Schuna, Sound Designer
Lee Schuna

Sound Designer

LEE SCHUNA  returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Two Jews Walk Into a War, Lonely Planet, Statements After an Arrest, Fiddler on the Roof, and serving as Sound Engineer on multiple productions and events. Lee is a transmasculine freelance sound designer, composer, music producer, and graduate of the Music Industry program at Northeastern University. Credits include Hype Man, Peerless, Really, and The T Party (Company One); Every Brilliant Thing, Grand Concourse, and Significant Other (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Fires in the Mirror and The King Stag (Tufts University); and The Women Who Mapped The Stars (The Nora Theatre Company). He is currently working on experimental electronic music to be released on his pet record label at Human Nature Records. He resides in Roxbury. humannaturerecords.com

Becca Freifeld*, Stage Manager
Becca Freifeld*

Stage Manager

BECCA FREIFELD*  returns to New Repertory Theatre after serving as Performance Stage Manager on Thurgood, Assistant Stage Manager on Fiddler on the Roof and Good, and Production Assistant on Freud’s Last Session, The Testament of Mary, The Snow Queen, A Number, Broken Glass, Scenes From an Adultery, The King of Second Avenue, and Closer Than Ever. Other area stage management credits include Barbecue (Lyric Stage Company); Shoes On, Shoes Off (Brandeis Department of Theater Arts); Romeo & Juliet and Evil Dead: the Musical (Arts After Hours); Hamlet (Wax Wings Productions); Bully Dance (Argos Productions); and Hamlet (Bay Colony Shakespeare Company). Upcoming: Assistant Stage Manager on New Repertory Theatre’s production of Man of La Mancha. Ms. Freifeld is a graduate of Brandeis University, and currently resides in Newtonville.

Alec Long, Props Manager
Alec Long

Props Manager

Bio coming soon

Adam Kassim, Assistant Director
Adam Kassim

Assistant Director

Annie Coursey, Dramaturg
Annie Coursey

Dramaturg

Yo-EL Cassell, Movement
Yo-EL Cassell

Movement

David Picariello, Understudy
David Picariello

Understudy

David Picariello makes his New Repertory Theatre debut as a member of the 2018-2019 Classic Repertory Company tour. He graduated in 2017 from Salem State University 2017 with a BFA in Theatre Performance, and minors in both Film Studies and Dramatic Literature. He spent the summer after graduation with Speak About It, a performance-based education consent program that travels to high schools and colleges across the country. SSU credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Gangster), The Seagull (Konstantin), and The Grapes of Wrath (Noah Joad). Other recent credits include Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Apollinaire Theatre Company) and William Morris Barfee in The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Theatre Company of Saugus). David is most excited to work with such a small and talented ensemble, bringing Shakespeare and classic literature to life. He currently lives in Wakefield, MA.

David Nolan Rich, Understudy
David Nolan Rich

Understudy

Reviews

“An intriguing, even illuminating take on questions of status and privilege.”

- The Boston Globe

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“It’s a strong piece which will challenge, amuse, anger and entertain audience members differently.”

- TheaterMirror

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“It’s a true original, with considerable food for thought.”

- South Shore Critic

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“Straight White Men forces its majority white, mature audience to examine its white, abled, financial, male, and other privileges in real time.”

- New England Theatre Geek

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“In a world where one most often reads a book or watches a play or a movie whose female characters are written by a man, one of the things that stands out about Straight White Men is that…

- Broadway World

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News

High Resolution Production Photos: STRAIGHT WHITE MEN

Read The Straight White Men Program Online!

Press Release: STRAIGHT WHITE MEN

Meet the Playwright Young Jean Lee

 On the process of writing Straight White Men:

“Normally we talk about stuff in rehearsal, and then, based on what we talk about, I go home and write. I come in, once I’ve written the thing, and that’s when everyone pitches in. Straight White Men was a little different, because I didn’t know how to write naturalistic dialogue. The first draft of it, which we did at Brown University, was built out of improv with the actors.
The scripts are really collaborative. I’ll bring in a line and ask how to fix it, and everyone in the room just screams out stuff. My dramaturg is involved in the writing—it’s a team effort. There’s no way I could have written any of those plays on my own. That’s an important distinction between me and other playwrights—it’s never me alone in a room. It’s not springing forth from my brain. It would be interesting to give my texts to everyone who has been on an artistic team and ask, ‘Tell me what things in this play were your idea.’ ”