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'reasons to be pretty' has relatable theme, but challenging characters

March 2012

"...and even if I was, ugly, I'm saying, even if I was not cute or close to that, unattractive by world standards, don't I wanna be with someone who finds me beautiful?" -Steph, reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute

St. Ambrose University will be producing of Neil Labute's critically acclaimed play "reasons to be pretty." This show hits on an issue that everyone has dealt with at one point or another: what is beauty?  

The cast of SAU's production includes: Kyle DeFauw as Greg, Amanda Kochanny as Steph, Tony Stratton as Kent, and Morgan Griffin as Carly. The production crew includes: Grace Allen as Director, Sidney Junk as Stage Manager, Meghan McLaughlin as Assistant Stage Manager, Kris Eitrheim as Lighting Designer, Tyler Reinert as Set Designer, Tony Stratton as Props, Morgan Griffin as Costumes, Lindsey Meyer as Marketing, and Cory Johnson as Faculty Advisor. 

Beauty is not something easily defined but something everyone strives for. In the play, Steph is offended when her boyfriend Greg calls her "normal" and Greg does not seem to understand why. Meanwhile, Kent finds Carly very beautiful, but is that enough to hold a relationship together? Grace Allen '12, director of the production, chose the show because of this relatable theme: "Most audience members should be able to relate to at least one of the characters. They have either been through a similar situation, or have had the same moments of realization that the characters have. I think the show will do a great job of forcing people to reflect on their own lives and the decisions and actions that they have made along the way."

With such a tricky theme, it's no wonder that producing this show would come with some challenges. Allen says the most challenging aspect of the show is portraying the enormous growth of the characters in such a short amount of time.

"In a two hour show, all of the characters become completely different people than they are from the beginning. In most ways, they do a lot of growing up and self-reflection and discovery, and in some ways they revert to childish ways. It's really fun, though, to see the actors portray this growth."  Don't worry, there is no doubt the talented cast and crew will be able to handle these challenges with ease.  

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