Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre has announced a series of free events in connection with its production of The Red Letter Plays, two plays by Suzan-Lori Parks that are inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter.
The special events include a “backstage pass” set tour and panel discussion with the scenic designers; live musical performances; and “Page to Stage” discussions with Parks and the directors.
The two plays, both now in previews, are Fucking A, directed by Jo Bonney, which began performances August 22 in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre; and In the Blood, directed by Sarah Benson, which began previews August 29 in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre.
The Signature Spotlight Series will begin September 6 with a “backstage pass” prior to performances. From 6 PM, attendees will have the chance to explore the sets of both Fucking A and In the Blood, and chat with scenic designers Rachel Hauck and Louisa Thompson.
Parks and Fucking A director Bonney will participate in a free Page to Stage discussion September 20 at 6:30 PM. The playwright will also join In the Blood director Benson in a free “Page to Stage” discussion September 27 at 6 PM. The latter will be followed by a play signing with Parks in the Signature Bookstore.
The Signature Spotlight Series will also host a free discussion group where audience members can discuss the connections between the two plays, to be led by a member of Signature’s artistic staff at a yet-to-be-announced date.
As part of its series of free special events, theatregoers can catch Suzan-Lori Parks & The Band, who will be performing September 9, September 23, September 30, and October 7 at the Signature Café and Bar. Performances will be at 4:15 PM and 6:30 PM.
The band features writer-musician Parks, guitarist-multi-instrumentalist Christian Konopka, and percussionist-actor Julian Rozzell.
In both of her plays, now playing at the Signature Theatre, Pulitzer Prize winner Parks re-imagines the character of Hester from The Scarlet Letter. In Fucking A, revered and reviled local abortionist Hester Smith formulates a plan to free her jailed son. In the Blood introduces us to Hester La Negrita, a penniless mother of five condemned by the men who love her.
Flip through photos of Fucking A, opening September 11: