A play about straight white men on Broadway makes history

A play about straight white men on Broadway makes history

1 photo
Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK (AP) — The play that just opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway may have a cast dominated by white men but history has been made behind the scenes.

Young Jean Lee became the first Asian-American woman playwright to have a play open on Broadway when "Straight White Men" made its official debut Monday.

Breaking the glass ceiling for Asian-American woman playwrights was a special honor for Lee. But that distinction comes with some pressure.

"It makes me really hope that this show does well because it puts a little additional pressure on you because you want that door to stay open," Lee said.

The playwright is thankful for shows like "Hamilton" for helping pave the way, by proving "shows by people of color, featuring people of color... could fill houses."

Her father-son drama stars Armie Hammer, Josh Charles and Paul Schneider playing brothers. Stephen Payne plays their dad. The story takes place on Christmas Eve as the family gathers for the holiday, eating Chinese takeout in their plaid pajamas and trash-talking one another. But when a question is raised that they can't answer, they are forced to confront their own identities.

Lee said she was inspired by the idea of white men feeling marginalized because they were now being labeled. But she wanted to show both sides of issue, and let the audience draw its own conclusions.

"I just noticed that you know there was this sort of historical shift happening in my lifetime where all of a sudden, straight white men were suddenly experiencing what it's like to get labeled," she said. "So, I just got really interested in exploring that."

Hammer, whose film roles include "Call Me by Your Name" and "The Social Network," is making his Broadway debut in the play.

"This was an amazing chance to really look at the concept of white privilege and what it means, and how people in this situation communicate with each other and understand each other," Hammer said.


Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Most recent Entertainment stories

John Carucci


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast