The bomb that still has the power to shock and awe

Some will say it has no place in a play’s ti­tle, but dash it all, it’s such a ver­sa­tile word!

The Washington Post Sunday - - ARTS - BY JES­SICA GOLD­STEIN

We don’t al­ways say it when we say it. We say “the f-word.” We say eff­ing, freak­ing, flip­ping. We use dashes and as­terisks and pa­rades of punc­tu­a­tion whose length is di­rectly pro­por­tional to our em­pha­sis. We spell it in front of the kids. We say it in hate, in out­rage, in pain, in awe, in ex­haus­tion, in lust, in dis­gust.

Many of us find it dis­re­spect­ful, vul­gar, re­pul­sive. We have been fined and fired for say­ing it on tele­vi­sion. We won’t print it in the news­pa­per.

And yet the word will grace at least two mar­quees of Washington the­aters this year. “The Moth­erf---er With the Hat” by Stephen Adly Guir­gis is en­joy­ing a sixweek en­gage­ment at Stu­dio The­atre. “Stupid F---ing Bird,” an adap­ta­tion of Chekhov’s “The Seag­ull” by D.C. play­wright and di­rec­tor Aaron Pos­ner, will have its world pre­miere at Woolly Mam­moth in May. At the Pub­lic The­ater in New York, fre­quent Woolly guest Mike Daisey fin­ished a run of his mono­logue “F---ing F---ing F---ing Ayn Rand” in Jan­uary. So, why is that word in so many ti­tles? “I’ve now been for­bid­den to say the name of my own play in front of my own daugh­ter,” said Pos­ner, whose child is 15 months old. “Be­cause she says the word now very clearly.”

Pos­ner’s ti­tle started as a joke, a sly

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