Next week, the Yale Dramatic Association will present “Fucking A,” a play by 2018 Windham Campbell Prize recipient Suzan-Lori Parks. The play, which features a cast of nine undergraduate students, explores systems of power and oppression.

“Fucking A” will be the Dramat’s spring mainstage production. The Dramat stages seven shows a year, three in the first semester — a mainstage musical and two exhibition productions — and four in the second semester — a mainstage play, two exhibition productions and a commencement musical. Members of the Yale theater community nominate and vote on scripts for the mainstage productions. The voting process culminates in a “short list” of the 10 shows with the greatest student support, from which the Dramat board chooses its final production.

According to the show’s producer, Nicolas Tabio ’21, who is a staff reporter for the News, “Fucking A” has been on the short list multiple times in recent years. Tabio explained that the Dramat board asks “Why here? Why now?” in selecting the final scripts and that “Fucking A” is “a great opportunity to tell a lot of stories and a lot of perspectives that the Dramat in recent years hasn’t been able to reach out to.”

“Fucking A” is a play based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel “The Scarlet Letter” and tells the story of Hester, an abortionist in her mid-50s who has lost her son to the prison industrial complex, according to Alejandro Andres Campillo ’21, who will play Hester in next week’s production.

The Dramat invites a professional director and technical team to campus to work on the mainstage productions. “Fucking A” will be directed by Adrian Alexander Alea, a New York City-based creative producer and director. Alea’s directing career has included an assistant directing position at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park series, and he is currently producing and directing a production of “Dreaming in Cuban” in New York. Previously, Alea assistant directed “Venus,” another work by Suzan-Lori Parks and worked closely with the playwright throughout the process.

“I see ‘Fucking A’ as an invitation to analyze critically with the human condition and the various ways that the patriarchy — specifically the white male patriarchy —negatively affects the different levels of society,” Alea said. “‘Fucking A’ is not about one thing.”

The play is set in an unspecified time and location, but Alea chose to contextualize the script in a “dystopian and Brechtian 1970s Golden Age of Pornography,” a time that Alea explained was “everything but the Golden Age.”

Alea said that though the time period featured the first wide theatrical releases of narrative adult films in movie theaters, these films demonstrated objectification of the female body by white male directors and producers. Alea hopes that juxtaposing 1970s pornography with “Fucking A” — a play that highlights historically underrepresented voices and characters — will encourage the audience to contemplate the many messages of the script.

“I’m really nervous but excited to see what people take away from it,” Campillo said. “I think anyone who comes to the show will be able to see themselves in it, which is really empowering.”

“Fucking A” will open in the University Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Lindsay Daugherty | lindsay.daugherty@yale.edu