New York City
The Red Letter Plays, produced together for the first time, explode our ideas of love, society, sex, and power with wit and fearlessness. In these modern remixes of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter, Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks conjures two distinct interpretations of Hester, American literature’s most famous adulteress.
In F**king A, Hester Smith, the revered and reviled local abortionist, hatches a plan to buy her jailed son’s freedom — and nothing will deter her from this quest. In this wild-eyed blend of story and song, directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney (Father Comes Home From the Wars), Hester’s branded letter A becomes a provocative emblem of vengeance, violence, and sacrifice.
In the Blood‘s Hester La Negrita is a penniless mother of five condemned by the men who love her. She turns to former lovers, friends, and the institutions meant to support her, only to be spurned by them all with devastating consequences. This new production is directed by Obie winner Sarah Benson (An Octoroon).
Together these two plays form a haunting and powerful indictment of the way we live now.