JANUARY 2020 | Volume 187
Kim Villagente, Peter Anderson, Sebastien Archibald, Raven John. Photos by David Cooper.
Hilarious New Play Explores Privilege to Unusual Ends
Hot off its 2018 Broadway premiere, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee makes its Canadian debut at Gateway. Garnering attention on Broadway for being the first play produced by a female Asian-American playwright, and for its subversive take on white male privilege, this one-of-a-kind theatre piece's edgy social commentary will be recognized by Vancouver theatregoers as from the same playwright as SpeakEasy Theatre's award-winning production of The Shipment.
GQ described Straight White Men as "a look into what happens when we view straight white masculinity not as a default, but as a specific condition of these characters' lives," while The New York Times called it "undeniably powerful" and a "smart and thorny Broadway anomaly."
In acclaimed playwright Lee's play, Ed and his three adult sons have come together to celebrate Christmas. The boys enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and Chinese takeout peppered with a little casual homophobia, some light misogyny, and a dash of racism. But their holiday cheer is complicated by the presence of eldest brother Matt. Once the alpha male, Ivy League-educated pride of his family, he is staying with Ed while working a low-paying job for a community organization.
Where audiences might expect a straight-up satire of middle-class white privilege,Straight White Men veers into more universal territory as Matt's family, and the audience, begin to wonder why the prodigal son isn't living up to his full potential. Or is he?
Straight White Men is co-directed by Chelsea Haberlin of ITSAZOO (Wet, The Pipeline Project) and Fay Nass of The Frank Theatre (Poly Queer Love Ballad, Diaspora). Starring Peter Anderson (Titus Bouffonius and Butcher at the Cultch), Daniel Martin (co-founder of Upintheair Theatre), Carlo Marks (CW, Hallmark), and Sebastien Archibald (Lysistrata, Timon of Athens for Bard on the Beach) and featuring Kim Villagante (aka musician Kimmortal) and Raven John as hosts, or "Persons in Charge."
Each performance will also feature a Talk Forward with an invited guest speaker such as Jiv Parasram (Artistic Director of Rumble Theatre), David Hatfield (Manology Program Director), Hayden Averill (Children of the Street Program Facilitator), and more. These second act show discussions are themed around one of the identities explored in the play: Straightness, Whiteness, and Maleness, and will allow audiences to engage much more deeply with the ideas and themes of Lee's work.
Featuring: Kim Villagante, Raven John, Peter Anderson, Daniel Martin, Carlo Marks, and Sebastien Archibald
Director: Chelsea Haberlin and Fay Nass
Choreographer: Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg
Set Design: Shizuka Kai
Lighting Design: Sophie Tang
Costume Design: Laura Fukumoto
Sound Design: Mary Jane Paquette
Fight Director: Olivier Lunardi
Props Master: Carol Macdonald
Associate Producer: Shanae Sodhi
Production Manager / Technical Director: Mimi Abrahams
Assistant Technical Director: Aiden Hammond
Stage Manager: Susan D Currie
Assistant Stage Manager: Katie Voravong
Dates: February 6-15, 2020
Venue: Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, MainStage
Tickets: From $29 online at tickets.gatewaytheatre.com Box Office: 604-270-1812
Preview: Thursday, February 6 @ 8pm / Opening: Friday, February 7 @ 8pm
Times: 8pm nightly (except Sunday and Monday)
Matinees: Saturday, Feb. 8 & Sunday, Feb. 9 @ 2pm / Tuesday, Feb. 11 @ 1pm
Feb 6 @ 7pm – Pizza Preview
Enjoy a free slice of pizza before our Thursday Preview Show.
Feb 11 @ 12 pm – Tea Matinee
Meet with friends, discuss shows, and enjoy tea and cake before the Tuesday Matinee.
Feb 11 & 13 @ 7pm – Hops Hour
Join us for a complimentary pre-show beer tasting, presented by a local Richmond brewery.
Feb 12 @ 7pm – Wine Wednesday
Sample local wines at our pre-show complimentary wine tasting, courtesy of a local Richmond family winery.
About ITSAZOO Productions
ITSAZOO Productions creates immersive, dynamic theatre events for daring audiences. We support this with four core values: Immersion, Risk, Fun, and Community. Whether it's a fly-on-the-wall, immersive experience or a participatory, site specific event, we can create theatre for anyone, anytime, anywhere. We don't want our audience to just watch the story. We want our audience to experience the world of the story; to live through it.
Gateway Theatre enriches the quality of life in Richmond and surrounding communities by creating outstanding professional theatre and serving as a dynamic hub for the performing arts. Incorporated in 1982, Gateway is a vital member of the professional theatre scene in the Lower Mainland. The theatre offers a six-show English-language Signature Series, plus theatre education and performance training classes for youth ages 6-18 via the Gateway Academy. As a venue, Gateway Theatre provides a much-needed rental space for professional and community producers.
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