By the time actor Mason Alexander Park was 16 or 17 years old, settled in Los Angeles after a nomadic childhood and booking guest spots on teen sitcoms like “iCarly,” the Fairfax native felt ready to leave stage work behind. Park, who uses they/them pronouns and identifies as nonbinary, already had a foot in the door in Hollywood and says their love of theater was starting to feel more like a “fun, little acting hobby” than a plausible career path.

But first, the performer wanted to make sure they understood the scope of their onstage options. So Park went to Google with a search: “Trans roles in musical theater.”

The result, Park remembers, was “the shortest list of all time, but a list nonetheless.” Among those parts was the title character in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s soul-baring barnburner about an East German glam rocker who has undergone botched sex-reassignment surgery. Park promptly did a deep dive, digging up a bootleg of the 1998 off-Broadway production and Mitchell’s 2001 film adaptation.

“I just completely fell in love,” Park says. “It changed my life. It was such a defining moment for me as a human, but also as an artist to go, ‘Okay, there are things out there that I can do that are worth sticking in this for.’ ”

A decade later, having already played the role of Hedwig in the 2014 Broadway revival’s national tour, Park is again rocking the character’s heels and wigs for an Olney Theatre Center production that launches Nov. 26. Park’s return to Olney — where they delivered a Helen Hayes Award-winning performance as the emcee in a 2019 run of “Cabaret” — comes amid a breakout fall for the 26-year-old, who also plays the recurring role of Gren in the Netflix series “Cowboy Bebop” (a live-action version of the animated Japanese TV show).

“I always felt that even as Mason got bigger and bigger and bigger, that they would find time to do this,” says “Hedwig” music director Christopher Youstra, who also plays the role of Hedwig’s bandmate Skszp. “Mason is incredibly passionate about ‘Hedwig.’ ”

Directing Park at the star’s behest in this production is Johanna McKeon, the Broadway revival’s associate director who oversaw the touring version. McKeon has worked with plenty of big-name Hedwigs before, as Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Taye Diggs and Mitchell played the scorned rock star on Broadway, and Darren Criss kicked off the tour. In Park’s case, however, it was raw talent that caught McKeon’s eye at a 2016 open casting call. The actor joined the tour on standby a few months later, fresh out of the musical theater program at Pittsburgh’s Point Park University.

“Mason was all of 20 years old and had such a command and a facility and an ease with the wit in the show, and that’s the kind of stuff you can’t teach,” McKeon says. “There’s a real generosity inside of that also: The old soul meets ambitious, exuberant youth, which is a great combination in a human being, especially if you’re onstage.”

Park says they identified as queer from an early age, recalling “not having the best of times at school” during a stint living in North Carolina. But they cite listening to “Hedwig’s” rollicking anthem of self-discovery, “Wig in a Box” — during that first “Hedwig” plunge a decade ago — as a formative trans experience.

When Park toured with the show, they say they were still deconstructing their own gender identity. Revisiting Hedwig five years later, Park says they hope to bring a sense of individuality to the character that’s more clearly shaped by the performer’s evolving gender nonconformity.

“This time around, I have lived on this Earth a little longer as an openly nonbinary person,” Park says. “I have experienced a lot of amazing things because of that and a lot of prejudice because of that. It’s frightening to think that in the last year we’ve seen more anti-trans legislation introduced than any other year on record. Things like that, obviously, are fully embedded in the punk rock aesthetic of who I am as a human.

“So to put the wig on and bring that through somebody else, I think, is going to make [Hedwig] a little older, a little more tired and a little more frustrated.”

That world-weary take on Hedwig fits Olney’s seedier vision for the show, which got a glitzy Broadway makeover but had black-box origins off-Broadway. When Park spoke to Olney’s leadership about finding another collaboration in the wake of “Cabaret’s” success, the actor was enticed by the opportunity to not just return to “Hedwig” but to bring the show back to its modest roots in Olney’s intimate 1938 Original Theatre.

“Basically, Mason laughs at risk,” Youstra says. “They just dive into the piece, take chances, take risks, and if things don’t go and something crashes and burns, that’s what live theater is about. And it’s great to go on that ride with them.”

As the pandemic delayed Park’s appearance in “Hedwig” by more than a year, their profile continued to rise. In addition to their supporting role in the noirish, sci-fi “Bebop” — which reimagines the character as nonbinary and transgender — Park can be seen as the androgynous figure Desire in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman.”

Looking ahead, Park would like to defy industry expectations by taking on more cisgender roles. (“I mean, they have won so many Oscars playing people like me that it’s like, ‘Why can’t the opposite be true?’ ” Park asks.) And Park also wants to continue playing gender-nonconforming characters — more Hedwigs, more Grens, more Desires — after seeing similar roles long inhabited by cisgender actors.

“Representation is so unbelievably important,” Park says. “It’s paramount to the discovery of people’s understanding of self, and it is really difficult to understand yourself if what you are seeing is costume, if what you are seeing is someone pretending to be you. I am really grateful to be able to be a part of this generation of nonbinary and trans artists that are being given the opportunity to tell stories.”

If you go

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. olneytheatre.org.

Dates: Through Jan. 2.

Prices: $59-$85.