Play Is Profane, Political View of Scarlet Letter

Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:22pm

A family of five is walking past a theater. On the outer wall, they see a poster for an upcoming production. The name of the play? “Fucking A.— Awkwardness begins.

“It obviously created a reaction from everybody,— said Rahaleh Nassri, one of the directors at the new Studio Theatre production.

“Fucking A,— which opened last week and runs through Aug. 9, is written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks and is loosely based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter.— In Parks’ version, however, the A denotes an abortionist rather than an adulterer.

With such a political theme to the show, Nassri said D.C. is a perfect place to put on “Fucking A,— along with other theatrical productions.

“Most great art is political,— she said. “It’s not an accident that we have so many theaters in this town.—

Beyond directly addressing the issue of abortion, Nassri said the show looks at social issues through a variety of prisms.

“The play has a lot of gender and class and race components in it but in a very complex way,— she said. “I don’t think you can say this is what that means, and this is what that means.— Nassri said the play has a lot more to offer than just political commentary.

The show, while not a full-fledged musical, features a number of songs, including one in which the dystopian town’s tyrannical mayor belts a tune about his “little army— of sperm.

“When you watch it, it’s almost as good as a really good horror film,— said Nassri. “And there’s lots of blood and action. It’s actually quite gripping and fun but with a lot of serious.—

Nassri also thinks that everyone can connect to the themes of the play.

“For me, everyone has their Fucking A,’— she said. It’s whatever lingering wound makes you do what you do. That’s what I hope they understand when they leave. I just hope people make their own conclusions.—