Whitefish Theatre Co. presents final Black Curtain March 12 and 13
March 04, 2011
What is Black Curtain Theatre? Contemporary, edgy, and brilliant writing acted out with minimal set, props, and costumes at the Whitefish Theatre Co. with opportunity to have post-performance discussions with the actors and director after.
"Reasons to Be Pretty," the final Black Curtain Theatre this season, is by American film director, screenwriter, and playwright Neil LaBute: Social turmoil results when Greg’s offhand remark about a female co-worker’s pretty face and his own girlfriend Steph’s lack thereof gets back to Steph. “Reasons to Be Pretty” is the final installment of a trilogy by Mr. LaBute devoted to the contemporary obsession with physical appearance, following the abrasive “Shape of Things” and the gentler “Fat Pig.” Four friends, played by accomplished actors Abigail MacLaren, Luke Walrath, Betsi Morrison, and Corey Burke, are forced to confront a sea of deceit, infidelity, and betrayal in their journey to answer that oh-so-American question, “How much is pretty worth?”
The play’s graphic language and raw, relevant subject matter is a particular draw for young adult audiences. “A firestorm of abuse and invective, hot enough to scald the hide off a thick-skinned man, blasts through the opening minutes of ‘Reasons to Be Pretty’”–New York Times. It is telling that the person you feel most sorry for here is Steph (played by MacLaren), the attacker. What makes this play resonate is the way the performers provide such naked portraits of the insecurities young people face. LeBute portrays these insecurities via the graphic, angry nature of the dialogue in such a sophisticated way that the audience realizes that what lies beneath those insecurities and anger is quite tender and sad.
“At first I was skeptical when our Artistic Director, Nancy Nei, asked me to read the play. But in reading it, I found something amazing,” says Director Gail Cleveland, “It is shot through with compassion for these four young working-class friends and lovers and their attempts to figure out who they are.” Cleveland quotes Vanessa Redgrave in a New York Times review, “We all come to the theatre with baggage, the baggage of our daily lives, the baggage of our problems, the baggage of our tragedies, the baggage of being tired. It doesn’t matter what age you are. But if our hearts get opened and released—well, that’s what theatre can do.” Cleveland agrees that “Reasons to Be Pretty” has the potential to do just that, which is why Whitefish Theatre Co. chose something so edgy as to blow away theatre goers even in New York.
Performances are March 12 and 13 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $8, sold only at the door. The play is suitable for older students and adults due to the strong graphic language. There will be a talk-back with the actors and director after the March 12 performance. The audience is welcome to stay after for complimentary dessert and coffee, and discussion.
Sponsor for the Black Curtain Theatre series is Soroptimist International of Whitefish.
For more information about this event or to purchase tickets for other Whitefish Theatre Co. events please visit www.whitefishtheatreco.org or call the Box Office at the O’Shaughnessy Center Monday-Friday, 10-4 at 862-5371.