For those who know me, the concept of Oral Histories doesn’t sound like the type of play that I would write. I’m seen as a little straight-laced. I have people who apologize to me when they swear. I teach a Bible study at my church. What I am doing writing a play about blow jobs? The answer is that the show is about more than blow jobs. Oral sex is the hook, but the stories are deeper and sweeter and intriguing.
Oral Histories is a show that was put together especially for the Capital Fringe. Two years ago, I had to cancel my Fringe musical The Livonians because of casting problems. (DCTheatreScene’s story.) I vowed to return to Fringe with an easy-to-produce show. The show was made for the small venue, black box, perhaps even about to be condemned space that seems so Fringe. Instead, we get the very nice small venue that is Caos of F.
The first story was conceived a dozen years ago. I wrote a monologue play about a guy who didn’t want gays in the military because he got out of military service because of the ban. I called the play Don’t Ask. The monologue started with the line “A blow job saved my life.” The play was produced in an evening of my short plays titled Four Play.
In graduate school, I took a research methods class which included a lesson on oral histories. I knew instantly that it was a great title for a show that would include “Don’t Ask.” To complement the Don’t Ask monologue, I wanted to create two additional stories with oral sex as the starting point. In “I Found Jesus Through Oral Sex,” a young woman becomes sexually awakened at a religious summer camp. The story is not an anti-Christianity satire, because I am actually a Christian. Instead it is an antidote to the anti-sex message of many Christians.
I wrote another story that was a fictionalized version of Bill Clinton. But there were two things wrong with it. First, it felt tired. Second, it didn’t have a point except for figuring out I was talking about Clinton. So I scrapped it. Since the other two stories have positive results of oral sex, I wanted the third one to have one too – getting rich! It took me a long time to figure out how getting head can make one rich. But I wanted to explore the entrepreneurial society we have created.
A Hostess greets the audience and introduces the characters. She also breaks up the storytelling with a food show called Eros-trophy (Food of Love). The Hostess is played by my college-age daughter Allie Kay. Also in the cast are Terry Loveman, Samantha Sheahan and Steve Rosenthal.
So what am I doing writing a play about blow jobs? I am making a show that is ideal for a Fringe audience. Telling stories span the years from the radical 1960s to the entrepreneurial 2000s. From Viet Nam to Church camp. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always intriguing.
There is no nudity in this production but there is profanity and the subject matter makes this an adult-only show.
Ward Kay is an amateur playwright, adjunct professor of public policy, and government statistician. His short play “Three Times a Lady” was produced at the Capital Fringe and has won awards from NVTA and the Little Theatre of Alexandria. This is the lucky 13th production of one of his plays.
July 9 — July 24, 2016
Caos on F
923 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Show details and tickets