Finalist 2017-18

Tori Sampson

Play: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka


Synopsis: In Affreakah-Amirrorkah, an imaginary but uncannily familiar place, debutantes Akim, Adama, Kaya, and Massassi embody the culture’s notion of Beauty in all its shades and shapes. Still, something about Akim sets her apart, and her allure makes her a target for Massassi and her pretty, jealous peers. If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka weaves contemporary African and American cultures into a sweeping journey about what—and whom—we suppress in pursuit of an ideal always just beyond reach.

Cast Breakdown: 5W 3M

Set/Costume Requirements:
One main costume for each character with accent pieces that can be fashioned in multiple ways to dictate huge events/passage of time.

Ally Shuster: Chris Till:

Bio: Tori is a Boston playwright living in Minneapolis. Her plays include If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka, This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theater 2018) Cadillac Crew and Where Butterflies go in the Winter. Her plays have been developed at Great Plains National Theater Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theater’s The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden’s IGNITION festival and UBUNTU theater. Tori is a 2017-18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List and she holds an Honorable Mention from the 2016 Relentless Award. She is the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Paula Vogel Playwright and second-place Lorraine Hansberry recipient. She is a 2017 finalist for the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Prize.

Shaunette Renee Wilson, Amandla Jahava, Antoinette Crow-Legacy, Kineta Kuntu

James Udom, Courtney Jamison

Jakeem Powell, Kineta Kunutu, Erron Crawford, Amandla Jahava, Shaunette Renee Wilson, James Udom


Photographer: T. Charles Erickson, 2017


If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka at the Yale School of Drama; Iseman Theater