It was almost a year ago that writer and Coast contributor Jane Kansas first got the idea to write a play about anuses.
“I’d been in a couple of productions of The Vagina Monologues, and I thought that the idea of The Asshole Monologues could be sort of the same, but funnier,” she explains in a telephone interview filled with her warm, staccato laugh and rapid-fire sentences.
Kansas found herself coming up with all sorts of ideas for a script while on her six-month-long trek from Montana to Halifax (which she wrote about here: thecoast.ca/blogs/DearHalifax), but had no plans to actually bring it to life until filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald suggested it would be perfect on the stage of his theatre, Plutonium Playhouse, as part of their upcoming Sex Festival.
So, two months ago she set out to conduct interviews in much the same way that The Vagina Monologues’s playwright Eve Ensler did, and found no shortage of willing interviewees. “Really, what do any of us want besides the chance to talk about our assholes? People told me all sorts of things, some of it hysterically funny and some really sad.”
Opening November 30, the play is the last offering at the month-long festival that has included an artfully erotic evening of homemade porn, a photographic exhibit at eMotion Picture Gallery, erotic storytelling at FRED, an evening of filthy emails, as well as two other plays: Fat Pig by Neil LaBute and The Obedients by local playwright Lee-Ann Poole.
A first-time playwright, Kansas has discovered that she really enjoys the collaborative process of theatre.
“I say, the more eyes, ears and mouths involved in creating this, the better,” she explains. “I don’t have any experience writing plays, but I’m surrounded by people who know theatre. It’s really thrilling to discover all the layers of revelation others can bring to this.”
And can Kansas imagine a life beyond The Sex Festival for The Asshole Monologues?
“Of course, in my wildest dreams I’d love to see this really take off. But right now, I’m a nervous wreck just thinking about opening night. I’ll just be happy if we fill the theatre a couple of times and people enjoy the show.”
The Sex Festival runs from November 13 to December 5 at Plutonium Playhouse, 2315 Hunter Street.