Four 17-year-old girls grapple with societal definitions of beauty for the Black female body in Tori Sampson’s professional playwriting debut, which combines West African folklore with contemporary American culture.
Kaya, Massassi, Adama and Akim live in the fictional village of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, where they jockey for rank based on beauty standards designed to defeat them. But at what cost? This hybrid comedy, musical and fantasy, brimming with music and dance, will feature a live band on stage, a chorus that moves about the theater, and mimes dressed in purple and gold robes. Directed by new Drama faculty member Claire Fort.
‘If Pretty Hurts’ is successful exactly to the extent it engages us emotionally in the moral quandary of beauty, no matter what Amirrorikah we’re looking in.Jesse Green, The New York Times