Corner Playhouse brings “Reasons to be Pretty” to stage

Two actresses played men onstage.

Girls playing guys, fits of cursing, betrayal, love, hate — all of these and more took place Wednesday evening at the Corner Playhouse. It certainly was an entertaining night for the sold-out audience when "Reasons to be Pretty" premiered for the first time at MU.

This play consisted of an all-female cast, and two of the starring females were required to play male roles, something never done before at MU. Junior Kristen Walker, one of the actresses that portrayed a male, played the villain in the production.

“When the director first told us that the play would be all women, there was a definite state of shock from all of us," Walker said. "Things like this don't happen often at MU, as well as with this play. Kent has by far been the most difficult character I've ever played."

"Reasons to be Pretty" pushed the versatility of its actors, following one couple’s break up after four years of dating.

The production illustrates the importance of loyalty and that even after heartbreak and conflict, the most important thing is to have closure and to learn to be happy for one another.

Despite the obvious drama in the production, Walker said she also made connections with her fellow cast members.

“My favorite part about being in this show is the amazing women I was able to perform with," Walker said. "We all definitely click and understand how each other works as an actress.”

Another concept that made this play so interesting was the fact that they had a fight choreographer.

“Fight scenes are always fun," Walker said. "Physical scenes are always exciting, and we were so lucky to work with the amazing fight choreographer."

Director Theodore Marcia said coordinating the fight scenes was one of the biggest challenges of the production.

“Any fights, especially the ones staged so close to the audience, are difficult to do convincingly, so Rick Sordelet's direction of the play's physical action was critical," Marcia said. "Rick also coached Tammy and Kristen to find and move from a lower center of gravity, more indicative of a masculine physicality."

Freshman Taylor Ayers said she enjoyed seeing the avant-garde style performance for her theatre class, and she said she thought it was well-received.

“I loved the show as a whole," Ayers said. "Every aspect was well put-together. Even the casting choice, though unconventional, added to the play."

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