Chicago Premiere of Straight White Men Begins | Playbill

News Chicago Premiere of Straight White Men Begins Young Jean Lee wrote and directs the piece at Steppenwolf.
Alan Wilder, Madison Dirks, Ryan Hallahan, and Brian Slaten Steppenwolf Theatre Company

The Chicago premiere of experimental playwright Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, also directed by the playwright, begins performances February 2 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Upstairs Theatre.

Opening night is set for February 12 for a run through March 19.

The cast features ensemble member Alan Wilder as the father, Ed, with Madison Dirks as Jake and Ryan Hallahan as Drew. Elliott Jenetopulos plays Stagehand-in-charge through March 4, and Syd Germaine will take over the role March 5-19.

Brian Slaten, who previously performed the role of Matt in the Center Theatre Group production of Straight White Men, reprises his performance. Previously announced in the role of Matt was ensemble member Tim Hopper, who withdrew due to an artistic scheduling conflict.

Here’s how the work is billed: “As Ed, a widower, prepares to celebrate Christmas, he calls his three grown sons back to the family home. Games are played, Chinese food is ordered, and brotherly pranks and trash talk distract them from the ongoing issue that threatens to ruin the festivities: when personal identity is essential and privilege is a problem, what is a straight white man to do? Young Jean Lee takes an outside look at the traditional father/son play narrative, shedding new and often hilarious light on a story we think we know all too well.”

For more information and tickets, visit



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