Sex and sexuality explored in AKA: Fathers/Sons
Talking about sex and sexuality isn't easy for fathers and sons. And it's not just about the discomfort that comes from talking about the personal, but the way men are taught to hide their emotions deep inside.
Photo courtesy Bedlam Theatre Kevin "Kaos" Moore, Jordon Waters, and Harry Waters Jr.
Harry Waters Jr., his son Jordon, and local hip-hop artist Kevin "Kaoz" Moore bring that conversation to the fore in their new performance piece, AKA: Fathers/Sons. The constantly in-development work runs at the Bedlam Theatre in Lowertown this weekend.
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"So many men have not had these conversations with their fathers or sons," the elder Waters explains.
Issues of sexuality are at the forefront of the piece. Moore and Waters Jr. are gay, the younger Waters is straight.
"Talking about sexuality is a tough thing," Moore says.
That is especially true in communities of color, Waters Jr. adds.
AKA: Fathers/Sons has been in development for several years, which has allowed the three to deeply explore the different issues at play here. They also have gone through changes in their own lives, such as dealing with the health issues of their fathers.
That can come out in a rare, uncomfortable conversation between a father and son, where the son learns just how hard his father worked during his life.
The creators stress that the piece is not meant to be a passive experience for the audience. There are several places in the show with direct interaction between performers and watchers, and time is given at the end to discuss the issues in the work.
"We're not sure what the answers are," Jordon Waters says.
AKA: Fathers/Sons is part of a double-header of sorts this weekend at Bedlam. Short Shorts Presents: Summer Shorts How Did You Get Your Shorts So Short? A Short Town Showoff runs at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. As the title indicates, this is made of up of brief pieces of works in progress, developed through Bedlam's Short Town program. The works are certainly varied, ranging from a musical without music to a performance by "The Philharmonic Poo Choir."
IF YOU GO
6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Bedlam Theatre Lowertown
213 E. Fourth St., St. Paul
Free, $5 suggested donation
For more information, call 651.209.0597 or visit online.