"There really is nothing quite like the Signature Residency One experience. Over the past year, in fresh and exciting ways, I’ve been able to revisit plays I wrote more than 20 years ago, and share them with new and diverse audiences. For the first time ever, and at Signature, my plays Fucking A and In the Blood are being performed side by side, They were conceived from the same idea but until now have lived very separate lives. I can’t wait to participate in the dialogue that will come from witnessing these two works in concert."
In the earliest stages of planning Suzan-Lori Parks’ season as a Residency One playwright, her plays Fucking A and In the Blood often came up in discussions. While both are riffs on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the plays have more in common than just the same source material and a lead character named Hester. Both plays feature the hallmarks of Suzan-Lori’s tremendous writing, and when viewed as companion pieces, Fucking A and In the Blood tell powerful stories of parenthood, class, and systemic injustice. They are, at their core, plays about family and the struggle to survive. Producing The Red Letter Plays in tandem for the first time felt like a natural extension of Signature’s mission to explore a writer’s body of work. Fucking A and In the Blood also mark an important milestone in the history of Signature: the first time that two plays by the same writer have been produced simultaneously at the Center. Having a playwright’s work in conversation with other work, whether by a single writer or different Signature playwrights, has been at the heart of our intentions for the Center since Signature opened the building in 2012. Thank you for joining us for the start of our 2017-18 Season and helping us to celebrate the work of Residency One Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks with these two incredible plays.