It seems like just yesterday that TheatreSquared was announcing its 2011 season, including four plays, and another installment of the annual New Play Festival.
As it happens, that announcement came almost a year ago (whoa), and the the local theatre company will present the final original production of the season beginning this Friday, April 15 with a series of performances of Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty.
The 2009 Tony Award-winning play is a provocative new drama filled with dark humor and raw emotion, and follows the romantic entanglements of four young friends and their love affair with physical beauty.
“Reasons to Be Pretty is a powerful new play,” said TheatreSquared Artistic Director Robert Ford. “It is simultaneously dark comedy and gut-wrenching drama. These characters are fiery, vulnerable, acerbic, clumsy. They’re painfully in love and trying to make it work. The reality of (the play) is exactly why it resonates.”
T2 Managing Director Martin Miller was also profoundly affected by LaBute’s work.
“The first time I read the play, I had a real, emotional reaction to it,” Miller said. “I think it will hit really close to hope for a lot of younger people, just because of how honest it is.”
The cast includes: Dusty Brown (Greg) and Christin Sawyer Davis (Steph), both of New York; and Northwest Arkansas natives Rebecca Rivas (Carley) and Kris Pruett (Kent), who previously appeared as Mutt in T2’s World Premiere of Sundown Town (2011).
The production is directed by Shana Gold, who also directed T2’s 2010 production of Underneath the Lintel.
The show opens April 15, and runs through May 1, 2011 at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios (505 W. Spring St.) in Fayetteville.
Tickets range from $22-24 ($10/under 30) and are on sale now at waltonartscenter.org, or by calling the box office at (479) 571-2728. The play contains mature language and violence, and is recommended for adult audiences.