Chorus There can only be one star. So why you hatin’?
In the village of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, no one questions that Akim is the one true, perfect beauty — not even her jealous classmates. But they’ll be damned before they let her be the leading lady in this story. A decidedly contemporary riff on a West African fable, Tori Sampson’s explosive epic is brimming with live music and dance, as these frenemies jockey for their rank in a culture built on ideals forever out of reach.
2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Kennedy Center’s 2017 Paula Vogel Playwright
Scenic Design: Louisa Thompson Costume Design: Dede Ayite Lighting Design: Matt Frey Original Music and Sound Design: Ian Scot Hair and Wig Design: Cookie Jordan Production Stage Manager: Alyssa K. Howard Assistant Stage Manager: Noah Silva
The race to achieve impossible beauty standards begins a journey of mythic proportions in Tori Sampson's explosive 'If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka.' Go inside the first day of rehearsal to meet the cast and creatives!
In 1998, 15 years before Beyoncé released her song “Pretty Hurts,” Lauryn Hill dropped her legendary record ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.’ ... And on a road in Raleigh, tucked into the backseat of her mother’s peach Volvo on the way to school, nine-year-old Tori Sampson was listening. (Lizzie Stern, Literary Associate)
Think of words you may deem part of pop culture, words that seem to sprout up on social media, take over your newsfeeds, and then fade out of existence. Think “bae,” “bruh,” “bless.” If someone asked you where these words originated, where would you say? (Divinia Shorter, Literary Fellow)