Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra image 1

Anne Kauffman

Described by The New York Times as “one of the leading lights of downtown theater,” Anne has directed at most major New York non-profit and regional theaters. Her recent credits include, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison with Playwrights Horizons, Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson with The Public Theater, The Nether by Jennifer Haley with MCC, You Got Older by Clare Barron with P73 Productions (Obie Award), Smokefall by Noah Haidle at The Goodman Theater and South Coast Rep, 100 Days a new musical by The Bengsons at Z Space in San Francisco, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra by Kirk Lynn with Playwrights Horizons, The Muscles in Our Toes by Stephen Belber with the Labyrinth Theater Company. Other credits include: Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play Detroit starring David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan at Playwrights Horizons (NY Times, New York Magazine, and TimeOut NY Top 10 Productions of 2012), Maple and Vine also at Playwrights Horizons, Somewhere Fun by Jenny Schwartz at the Vineyard Theater, Amy Herzog’s Belleville for Yale Rep, NY Theatre Workshop and Steppenwolf (Lortel Nomination for Best Director), Chloe Moss’ This Wide Night starring Edie Falco and Alison Pill for Naked Angels (Lortel Nomination for Best Director), the musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Adam Bock and Todd Almond with Yale Rep, Stunning by David Adjmi and Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl for LCT3, You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents' Divorce with The Civilians at Williamstown, ArtsEmerson and The Flea, God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz with New Georges and the Vineyard.

She is a Sundance Program Associate, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, an alumna of the Soho Rep. Writers and Directors Lab, a current member of Soho Rep.’s Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League of New York, a founding member of The Civilians, an Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb and member of New Georges' Kitchen Cabinet. From 2000-2006, Anne was on the directing faculty at NYU. She received her MFA in directing from UCSD, and a BA in Slavic Languages and Literature and Theater from Stanford University.

Anne’s awards include two Obie Awards, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Barrymore Award for Best Director, and a Lilly Award. (As of February 2016)


More Reviews


Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra Trailer

What are the boundaries of intimacy? How well can we get to know each other, and how well should we get to know each other? With commentary by Kirk Lynn (playwright) and Anne Kauffman (director), get to know "Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra."


Artist Interview with Kirk Lynn

Adam Greenfield: Where do you hail from? Kirk Lynn: I hail from Texas. I was born in San Antonio, and I’ve really spent most of my life in Texas. I went to school at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin, and in Austin at that time there was this huge performance explosion, everybody was making plays in bars and bank lobbies and abandoned warehouses, and the big grocery store in Austin would let people do plays down in their basement.


Burning Questions

Members of the cast & creative team of Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra answer some burning questions. We'll be updating this space over time, so check back for more!

Playwrights' Perspectives

Kirk Lynn on Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra

I’m a member of the writer’s cult that craves early mornings. 5:00 AM, 4:30 in my most maniacal phases. 4:00 is too early for me, but I only know because I tried. Quiet. Solitude. Discipline. Darkness. Stubbornness. Stillness. There are lots of ways to wake up. I love strong, French-press coffee, an ice cube in it so I don’t have to wait for it to cool. And I usually wake up my writing with some small project or exercise I can noodle around with in the first 5, 10, 15 minutes it takes to get my brain cooking. The Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, who trained as a pianist, called these small projects ‘finger exercises.’


Tim Sanford on Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra

How honest are we about sex? The Kama Sutra of Vātsyāyana is a sacred Hindu text composed about eighteen hundred years ago. It was first published privately in English by an erotophile named Sir Richard Burton in 1883 and began to appear in pirated publications around the same time that Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams. When Burton died, his wife reportedly burned most of his private erotic literature collection. As the most recent translator of The Kama Sutra, Aditya N. D. Haksarhas, points out, most English-speakers only know this ancient text via marketed “Illustrated” publications that highlight the notorious descriptions of copulatory positions that actually comprise only about one twentieth of the original work. A fairer summary would characterize it as a broad survey of sexual and social relationships between men and women. I lay out this bit of world literary history for you to come clean about my own way into Kirk Lynn’s fascinating, insightful, and moving story of a man’s messy journey from marriage to fatherhood.


The American Voice: Not-Knowing

Perhaps the world’s most obscure guru of actor training, Stella Burden is among some circles the most legendary. The details of her biography are hazy and too weird to be true, but we do know that after decades of teaching in the States she expatriated to South America to found an academy in the jungle. Save for an enigmatic manual for acting students and a catalog of physically hazardous exercises, we’re left with mere fragments of “the other Stella” (as she was known) and her version of “The Method,” which she called “The Approach.”


Backstory: The X-Factor

When asked why it is so interesting to write about sex, playwright Wallace Shawn observed, “Sex is still shocking. Conflict is built into the theme of sex because people’s desires are often at cross-purposes.” Conflict, the very essence of drama, makes the stage an ideal space to explore and perform the myriad faces of human sexuality. By tracing the ways in which theater has treated sex, we can track some changing cultural views of sex through history.