Playwrights debut. Regional: Cadillac Crew (Yale Rep, April 2019). Plays developed at Vineyard Theatre Lab, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Berkeley Rep, Victory Gardens’ IGNITION Festival, Playwrights Foundation, Ubuntu Festival. Tori is a 2017/18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow and a 2018/19 McKnight Fellow. Awards and honors: Relentless Award (2016, Honorable Mention), Paula Vogel Award (2016), Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award (Second Place), Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Prize (2017, Finalist), Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2018, Finalist), Paul Green Award (2018). Current commissions: Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep, Atlantic. MFA: Yale School of Drama. ToriSampson.com
(Updated Feb 2019)
Critic’s Pick! “Beauty, Blackness, and Beyoncé. Tori Sampson’s delicious new play is an auspicious professional playwriting debut.”
—Jesse Green, The New York Times
“If Pretty Hurts is full of winking whimsy and frightening recognitions — it’s got teeth.”
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 Manager)
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)