"I read this play once upon a time and fell in love with it," says Present Company artistic director Stephanie Carll about Kirk Lynn's Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra. "And new works has never been something that Present Company really had a foothold in. It's always been something that I've wanted to pursue."
Lynn's play isn't brand new -- it's been produced in New York previously -- but it is making its regional debut with this production. Lynn's happy to see a staging of the show in his hometown. "I'm an Austin writer, and I think writing for an Austin company and Austin actors -- there's a buoyancy, I think, to this production," he says. "There's some heavy material at points throughout the play... [but] the majority of the play really has this buoyancy that keeps floating through it."
As Lynn says, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra deals with some heavy themes. It's essentially a family story, and deals with themes of connection and sexual histories, which include some past trauma. But Lynn hopes that the message is ultimately uplifting. "These are people who love each other and they're able to handle the heaviest topics in the best ways," he says. "When you're really seen by someone, known by someone, and loved by someone -- in spite of the fact that they see you and know you -- I think that you can deal with even the heaviest things with still this sort of thread of love."
Director Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw was excited to take the helm of Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra after reading it reading the script a while ago. "I actually was working on a play of my own that was about love and desire and sexual history and trauma, and I was like, 'Kirk, I need you to read this and give me notes!'" she says. "And I was feeling really vulnerable and he was like 'You know what, I'll share my play about all those things with you.' We did a play exchange, and I was so moved by his script and how it navigated this family and this deep love and desire to connect."