“Reasons to be Pretty,” a play written by Neil LaBute, has been in the works at Emporia State since October. It will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in Frederickson Theatre.
First performed in 2008 on Broadway, the play is about a couple that goes through a breakup over a poor choice of words, and how it affects not only them, but their two friends, who also happen to be a couple. The actors play suburban-raised college students who claim to only care about inner beauty, but are faced with the ugly truth that they quite often only focus on physical attributes.
The play committee at ESU chose for this particular rendition of the show to be directed by Mike Koetkemeyer, senior theater major. The actors said they really appreciate the fact that they are able to work with a fellow student.
“Our director helps us identify with these characters because he is from our generation,” said Eliot Brest, junior theatre major.
While musicals are the favored stage performance of some, Veniese Razo, freshman theater major, who plays Stephanie in the play, said she prefers acting in “straight shows” that don’t have any singing.
Dallas Shafer, freshman business major, plays Carly. She said the thing she likes most about the script is how realistic it is.
“It’s very conversational, which makes it seem like real life, not a script,” Shafer said.
At only four actors, the cast is very small, but all each one seems to prefer this setup.
“The small cast allows us to work on getting to know not only each other, but our characters as well,” Razo said.
Colter Lemmon, senior theater major, described his character Greg as “the standard guy who’s insensitive without meaning to be.”
Since the show is mainly about college students and was made to target the student demographic, there several adult themes in the script. The language may be considered vulgar, and because of this, Koetkemeyer strongly recommends that children not be brought to the play.
The show will run Nov. 19-24 at 7:30 p.m. each night, except Saturday and Sunday, which will be matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets can be bought from the Box Office by calling 620-341-6378. Tickets are $5 for students, and $8 for non-students.