Straight White Men | BAY AREA PREMIERE
  • 2023-10-08

Straight White Men | BAY AREA PREMIERE

Friday, May 11, 2018


Straight White Men

MILL VALLEY, CAMarin Theatre Company (MTC) closes their 2017-18 season with an explosive new perspective on family, masculinity and privilege from the most “adventurous downtown playwright of her generation”— Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Young Jean Lee explains “I’ve found that the only way to make theatre that gets the audience thinking is when I feel uncomfortable making it.” For Straight White Men, Lee started by considering the hypothetical: if she were to wake up tomorrow as a straight, white man—keeping her knowledge and experience as an Asian-American woman—how might she feel; how might she act?

Straight White Men, born out of these initial thought experiments, follows Ed and his three adult sons, as they come together to celebrate Christmas. In the holiday spirit, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese food. Until they confront 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?

Morgan Gould—an associate director with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company—directs this dynamic new play at MTC, featuring James Carpenter as aging patriarch, Ed; Christian Haines as tenured professor and best-selling writer, Drew; Ryan Tasker as idealist, live-at-home prodigy, Matt; Seann Gallagher as divorced banker, Jake; and J Jha as the fluid and omnipresent Person-in-charge. Importantly, the production team for MTC’s Straight White Men is entirely comprised of female and gender non-conforming artists. In sum, those in control of the room, the stage, the narrative itself, are quite purposefully not straight, white men.

More About Director, Morgan Gould

Morgan Gould is a New York-based writer and director. Her play I Wanna F***ing Tear You Apart, which won the 2016 Beatrice Terry Award from the Drama League, had its world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC in February 2017 (with Morgan directing). It is currently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play and DC Theatre Arts said that Morgan's work "shows every bit as much promise as Edward Albee’s early work, arguably more."

Morgan is a currently playwriting fellow at Juilliard, a New Dramatists Resident Playwright, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a member at Ensemble Studio Theatre (where she recently directed Leah Nanako Winkler's Kentucky in a 2016 co-production with P73), a New Georges affiliated artist, an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, the Stage Director's & Choreographers Foundation Observership Program, the Target Margin Theater's Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, The Civilians R + D Group, and the Playwrights Horizons Directing Residency Programs. She has previously held staff positions at Playscripts, Inc., Lark Play Development Center, Cape Cod Theatre Project, and Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, where she co-created Untitled Feminist Show (BAC/PS 122) and worked alongside Young Jean on the premieres of Lear (Soho Rep) and We’re Gonna Die (Joe's Pub/ LCT3) and tours of Pullman WA and The Shipment.

Morgan started her own theater company, Morgan Gould & Friends, with 8 actors, 3 designers and a filmmaker in 2012. Since then, they have created Losing Tom Pecinka, Pee Pee Poo Poo Pa Pa Face, The Girl With Honey Bee Eyes, Weight of the World, This Body//My Body, Shrek: An Adaptation, Dog Eat Dog, The Obese Awards, Nurse Nora Menorah Saves Christmas, Helix, Helix: The Science of You, Me, Us and Them (A Sloan Commission) and more. MG&F's work has been featured in and at the New Ohio/ Ice Factory Festival, Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Lyceum, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, CAP21, BAX, New Georges, and The Culture Project. Morgan has a B.A. in Directing, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, M.F.A. in Playwriting, Brooklyn College. She recently directed Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This at the 2018 Humana Festival, and will helm the New York premiere at Primary Stages in the winter of 2019.

More About Playwright, Young Jean Lee

Young Jean Lee 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 play Straight White Men will premiere on Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in summer 2018. 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 PlaysThe Shipment and Lear; and We’re Gonna Die) and 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.

Theatre | Performing Arts

Straight White Men

By Young Jean Lee
Directed by Morgan Gould

*James Carpenter: ED
*Christian Haines: DREW
*Ryan Tasker: MATT
*Seann Gallagher: JAKE

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association

June 14 - July 8

OPENING NIGHT: Tuesday, June 19, at 7:30pm

Tuesday - Sunday, 7:30pm

Sunday (Preview), June 17, 4:00pm
Thursday (Perspectives), June 28, 1:00pm
Saturday, June 23 & July 7, 2:00pm
Sunday, June 24, July 1 & 8 , 2:00pm

Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Ave | Mill Valley, CA 94941

When Ed and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese food. Then they confront 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?

Tickets $22 - $60

Discounts for seniors, teens, military families, and Marin County teachers are available.

Group Discounts: Purchase 8 or more tickets and receive a $6 discount off each ticket, and we'll waive the $7 order fee. As the organizer of the group, your ticket is free! Contact the Box Office for more details.

Press Photos will be available for Straight White Men on Friday, June 15, 2018.


  • Pre-Show Discussions: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss the play, playwright and play’s themes on Wednesdays before the 7:30pm performances.
  • After Words: Join a member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) for a Q&A talkback after every performance, except Saturday evenings and Opening and Closing Nights.
  • Perspectives: The third Thursday of each show is the Perspectives matinee performance which includes a pre-show topical lecture. For Straight White Men, the Perspectives matinee is scheduled for Thursday, June 28 with the pre-show lecture beginning at 12:30pm, and the performance beginning at 1:00pm.
  • MTC After Hours: Following the 7:30pm performance on Saturday, June 30, join members of the audience and cast in the lobby to continue the conversation. Featuring music and drink specials.
  • Window on the Work: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss artistic and production elements of MTC’s production of Straight White Men at 7:30pm on Thursday, June 7, at the Mill Valley Public Library.

Marin Theatre Company provides open captioned performances of each of the plays in our mainstage series on the Thursday matinee. The open captioned performance for Straight White Men will be Thursday, June 28, at 1:00pm.

For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available with one week’s advance notice. To request a Large Print playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Assistive Listening Devices are available. Our system will also work with personal assistive hearing devices equipped with a T-coil.

CONTACT | (415) 388-5208 |

Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theatre and the leading professional theatre in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging and established playwrights. Our numerous education programs serve more than 10,000 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. We believe in taking risks and inspiring people to participate in live theatre, regardless of personal means. MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theatre is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Kate Robinson, Communications and Public Relations Associate
(415) 322-6029 |