Straight White Men May Bend Your Mind

Playwright Young Jean Lee is known for tackling subjects about people who are unlike her. In Straight White Men, making its regional premiere at Stages Repertory Theatre, the Korean-American Lee writes about exactly what the title suggests, and used actors and focus groups to help her get close to the truth, says Leslie Swackhamer (2015 Houston Theater award winner for Best Director.)

“The straight white men who are in this play are not a bunch of bubbas,” she says. “They are intelligent, well-educated, liberal-leaning men who've been raised in a highly conscious household to be aware of their own privilege.” Lee's play examines how families work together, what it is to be in a house where the mother is no longer present and the societal pressures for straight white men to succeed.

Starring James Belcher as the dad; and Adam Noble, David Matranga and Jason Duga as the brothers, the 90-minute one-act play is very physical, funny and active, Swackhamer says. It also includes a much-rumored plot twist, but Swackhamer says there may be an even bigger surprise to audience members.

“Anybody who sees it is going to have points where they really identify with the characters and the situations, and for some people who are not straight white men, that will be very surprising.”

Performances are scheduled for February 10 through March 6 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at 3210 Allen Parkway.  For information, visit or call 713527-0123. $21-$45.
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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