In a mashup of West African folklore and contemporary American culture, Tori Sampson's provocative, hilarious new play follows four teenage girls as they grapple with societal definitions of beauty.
"Delicious! A contemporary fable about the black female body and its discontents... an auspicious professional playwriting debut."The New York Times
"One of the pleasures of If Pretty Hurts is that it exists largely outside the white gaze. As part of the recent flowering on New York stages of plays that blur the boundaries of Africa and America... it honors its characters and its audience enough to assume the value of black lives that are only distantly mediated by Eurocentric expectations."The New York Times
"Riffing on a Nigerian folktale... Sampson’s got her finger on the sharp point of a splinter that goes excruciatingly deep."Vulture
"Charming... [a] vibrant 90-minute spin on the time-honored 'black is beautiful' maxim... Sampson imagines a tale that also draws on elements echoed from Cinderella treatments."New York Stage Review
"Exhilarating... Sampson’s script plays like it’s sledding on a steep hill: You can feel the speed, the writer’s whizzing wit, the swift adjustments in tone and direction. The mixture of folklore-speak and hilarious up-to-the-minute banter is intoxicating, but it’s also a clever comic strategy to smuggle the girls’ pain past our watchful minds."Time Out New York
If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka Script
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Combining West African folklore and contemporary American culture, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka follows four teenage girls as they grapple with societal definitions of beauty. In the fictional setting of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, the four young women – Kaya, Massassi, Adama and Akim – are given an opportunity to live in a society where their individual beauty can reign supreme. But this opportunity comes at a dangerous cost.