Audiences take to the sweet treat O’Hara’s ‘Booty Candy’ offers

Photo courtesy of Windy City Playhouse

Booty Candy, writer, director Robert O’Hara’s coming-of-age play unfolds as a series of interconnected vignettes, loosely organized around a character standing in for the playwright’s experiences growing up Black and gay. The play offers a funny and bold spin on race, sex and sexuality. The audience meets Sutter, the main character, with everyone trying to teach him the ways of life, he’s learning fast that no one person will be able to tell him the meaning of love, life, sex or race. He’ll have to define those things for himself.

How did you come up with the title?

So, many years ago when I was doing a series of short pieces and I collected them in an evening and so I said, you know most of the scenes are not extensive full-on experiences, but things I’ve been thinking about for over a decade so I wanted to have them sort of galvanizing the opening scene that sort of displayed how one would look at the room and one of those things that I remember was my mother used to call my genitals “booty candy” and that is how we started it.

Booty Candy is said to be semiautobiographical, can you share how much of the play is based on your personal experiences?

There is a lot of craziness in the play and some based on things that happened, but nothing happened the way it exactly happened. It has a biographical feel to it, but it is definitely not biographical.

Do you think it’s a Black gay man’s time in the spotlight, particularly given the success of your play and Moonlight?

No! I think there are many more voices being heard so there are many more voices being recognized.

How much would you say the main character is you?

I think the main character is who I would love to be on a stage in a play, but certainly the main character is not me, but definitely has remnants of me. He certainly says certain things and does stupid stuff I would never do.

Share your thoughts on Black masculinity and sexuality.

I don’t really know because I don’t really think about it. I think masculinity is being challenged, as it should because it has f—ed up so much of our world. But I think as we come more comfortable that we would not be afraid of it and so it is like, what do you think about walking? I’ve always known myself to walk. I’ve always been a Black man and so I don’t have an insight into it. I know that it is challenging to be Black, male and gay and it has gotten easier in some places and more difficult in others.

Booty Candy runs January 25-April 15, 2017, at the Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Road. For more information, visit

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