“Straight White Men” characters Ed (James Carpenter), Jake (Seann Gallagher), Matt (Ryan Tasker), and Drew (Christian Haines). Photo by Kevin Berne.

PicturePlaywright Young Jean Lee. Courtesy image.

Would Marin Theatre Company audiences flock to playwright Young Jean Lee‘s Freaky Friday-inspired tale of a seemingly happy, trash-talking family that gathers at Christmas and struggles to understand the value of being a straight white male at a time when identity matters, and privilege is problematic?

The answer is a firm yes, as the organization has extended the play’s run through July 15.

“The way straight white men are with me is different than what they are like when I am not there, so that was the thing I had no idea about,” Lee says. “We’re in a historical moment where straight white male-ness is being treated like an identity where for so many years, it wasn’t. All of a sudden, straight white male is a label getting slapped on people and it’s being used in a derogatory way. So, basically, for the first time in history, straight white men are experiencing what everyone else has been experiencing all along and unsurprisingly, they don’t like it.”

Directed by Morgan Gould, Straight White Men opened at MTC in the same month that it opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway with a star-studded cast that includes Armie Hammer, Josh Charles and Tom Skerritt. Lee’s work has drawn near-universal acclaim, with The New Yorker declaring, “the 43-year-old playwright is one of downtown’s most trenchant, least crowd-pleasing talents, whose stubbornly genre-resistant work melds identity politics, Dadaist humor and meta-theatrical mind games.”

Lee has written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and toured her work to more than 30 cities around the world. She is the recipient of two OBIE Awards, the Festival Prize of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel, a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award.

“The signal surprise of Straight White Men, written by the ever-audacious Young Jean Lee, is that the play is not a full-frontal assault on the beings of the title,” says the New York Times, calling her “hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation.”

The 411: Straight White Men runs at the Marin Theatre Company through July 15. MORE INFO & TIX