There’s nothing you can do to erase the problem of your own existence

About This Show

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 trashtalk 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? Raucous, surprising and fearless—experimental playwright 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.

A Korean American playwright whose work “revels in subverting stereotypes” (NPR), she approaches the work from the position of outsider, examining human behavior in a way that is as hilarious as it is revealing.

“When starting a play, I ask myself, ‘What's the last show in the world I would ever want to make?’ Then I force myself to make it. I do this because going out of my comfort zone compels me to challenge my assumptions and find value in unexpected places. Straight White Men isn’t “about” privilege or attempting to reveal anything new about it or solve it. I was more curious about the question, ‘If I woke up tomorrow and I was a straight white man, what would I do?’” - Young Jean Lee

Running Time

90 minutes, presented without an intermission

Special Performances

ASL interpretation:
Sunday, February 26 at 7:30pm

Open-captioned:
Saturday, March 4 at 3pm

Audio-described and touch tour:
Sunday, March 12 at 1:30 touch tour, audio-described performance at 3pm

Cast & Artists

The Artists

Reviews

“★★★1/2 (out of 4)…fascinating and hugely arresting”
– Chicago Tribune

“Explosively entertaining...attitudes and anxieties on display” 
-The Washington Post

"Fascinating! A compassionate and stimulating new play written and directed by the ever-audacious Young Jean Lee"
-The New York Times

“Smart, funny, and unsettling…an insightful look at families, privilege, and much more. Captures the activities and antics of straight white men brilliantly” – Splash

Watch & Listen

Running Time

90 minutes, presented without an intermission

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Special Performances

ASL interpretation:
Sunday, February 26 at 7:30pm

Open-captioned:
Saturday, March 4 at 3pm

Audio-described and touch tour:
Sunday, March 12 at 1:30 touch tour, audio-described performance at 3pm

There’s nothing you can do to erase the problem of your own existence

Sponsors

Corporate Production Sponsor