REASONS TO BE PRETTY
Written by Neil LaBute | Adapted by Joy Nesbitt
Director - Joy Nesbitt
Assistant Director - Udochi Emeghara
Stage Manager - Abbie Sage
Financial Producer - Ian Chan
Technical Director - Carlo Hensch
Publicity Producer - Vicki Xu and Udochi Emeghara
Set Designer - Isaac Heller
Lighting Designer - Finn Bamber and Sophie Kim
Sound Designer - Clay Oxford
Costume Designer - Emi Park Cummings
Music Supervisor - Devon Gates
Using a male-centric play and turning it on its head to feature the female characters, this adapted version of Neil LaBute’s play “Reasons to be Pretty” centers on the breakup of Steph and Greg, a four-year old couple who fight over Greg’s comments about her. On the opposite side, married couple Carly and Kent have hit a rough patch in their relationship due to Kent’s actions. Told by our female characters, Steph and Carly, we see how society has made allowances for certain behaviors by forcing others to give themselves up to accommodate it.
This was a production presented on zoom by Harvard BlackCAST in April 2021. This production was an adaptation of Neil LaBute's original play, focused on issues of gender roles and relationships in the Black community.
This production of Reasons to be Pretty is a practice of recycling a sexist narrative as a means of giving space to discuss the misogynoir (sexism against Black Women) that Black Women experience in the world and in relationships. In order to do this, I looked to historical and current examples of Black Women discussing and thinking about misogynoir. In this production, I invite anyone who watches this to consider how they have experienced, participated in, or witnessed misogynoir in their lives. Moreover, I implore audiences to consider what social systems affect the ways in which these characters communicate. This production is meant to show that sexism, especially sexism against Black women, plays a huge role in the way we see ourselves, the way we communicate, and the way in which we build and maintain relationships. Although I know that nothing can be done to right the wrongs of these types of effects, my intention is most specifically to bring these symptoms of oppression to the forefront of our conversation as we hope for a better 2021. In addition to the artistic prowess of this production, BlackCAST recognizes that the classes of 2023 and 2024 have not had many opportunities to get to know BlackCAST shows or performances. For this reason, we decided to put together a team and cast that foregrounds these classes and offers opportunities for students to be involved in theater that asks questions and seeks to propose solutions.
Steph - Kelcee Everette
Carly - Grace Allen
Greg - William Pryor
Kent - Walter Ohams