Carla (Zoë Sophia Garcia) tells Reggie (Chris Stack) she’ll marry him if he agrees to one thing: They both must reenact their sexual histories together. All of it — the good, the bad, and the awkward; the highs and lows, the bodily pleasures and the emotional pain, for better and for worse. This sharing of secrets, Carla believes, will undergird their marriage with a foundation of intimacy.
In the second act of Kirk Lynn’s searching new play, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra, Reggie has to draw upon that wrenching (but racy) experience to break down an emotional wall with his troubled adolescent daughter (Ismenia Mendes). As his writing often does, Lynn steers us steadily into challenging moral terrain, using the stage to question our values and the limits we assign to them. Under Anne Kauffman’s thoughtful direction, the first act makes a number of arousing dramatic propositions; the second half, where characters go backward and forward while unsnarling the past and present, is trickier to tread. By design, the characters spin in place, in search of a breakthrough. Perhaps they could find it more expediently, but earning each other’s empathy is part of the point. When tough understanding finally arrives, Reggie and Carla’s youthful honesty pays off for two generations.