reasons to be pretty is performed with a ten-minute intermission.
Original Broadway production produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, MCC Theatre, Gary Goddard Entertainment, Ted Snowdon, Doug Nevin/Erica Lynn Schwartz, Ronald Frankel/Bat-Barry Productions, Kathleen Seidel, Kelpie Arts, LLC, Jam Theatricals, Rachel Helson/Heather Provost, World Premiere at MCC Theater on June 2, 2008, Robert LuPone & Bernard Telsey, Artistic Directors; William Cantler, Associate Artistic Director; Blake West, Executive Director.
* Undergraduate Student
Our obsession with beauty and looks has become increasingly intrusive in today’s society. In reasons to be pretty (2008), Neil LaBute focuses on this issue and brings it to light in a provocative dramatic comedy. The play explores how the characters cope with heartbreak, the impossibility of love, and the pressure of subjective beauty standards.
Being the first in the “Reasons trilogy,” which also includes reasons to be happy (2013) and reasons to be pretty happy (2018), the story follows Greg, Steph, Kent, and Carly as they learn to both hate to love each other and love to hate each other. Each character defines their own perception of what “pretty” really means, resulting in emotional conflicts throughout the play.
reasons to be pretty offers the audience a view into the reality of human error and flawed communication, which are characteristics of our everyday interactions. For this reason, I fell in love with this play the moment I first read it. As a director, I particularly enjoy its fast-paced dialogue, the unique dynamics between the characters, and its heart wrenching ending. Overall, this play is a reminder of how we all perceive differently the idea of beauty.
MAGGIE JAY (Steph) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with concentrations in Acting and Design and Technology. Previous acting credits at UW-Parkside include Gruesome Playground Injuries (u/s Kayleen), Circle Mirror Transformation (Theresa), and The Tourists (Peggy). Additional credits inlclude The Aliens (Assistant Sound Designer), The Wolves (Scenic Charge Artist), and The Penelopiad (Deck Crew).
JOSHUA BARNER (Kent) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits include Be More Chill (Jake) and The Diviners (Buddy layman) at State Fair Community College, Sliding into Home (Cal) at Kansas City Public Theatre, and And Jesus Wept (Daniel) at KC Fringe Festival.
AREN GOODWIN (Greg) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits include The Aliens (KJ), As You Like It (Orlando), She Kills Monsters (Orcus), and The Penelopiad (Telemachus) at UW-Parkside, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Mr. Burns) and Oedipus Rex (Oedipus) at State Fair Community College, and Crimes of The Heart (Barnette Lloyd) at Brownville Village Theatre.
BIANCA GONZALEZ (Carly) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous acting credits include As You Like It (Amiens), She Kills Monsters (Vera), Proof (Catherine), Pretty (Madeline), and Hope and Gravity (Narrator). She served as Props Head for The Aliens, The Penelopiad, Stupid F##king Bird, and Romeo and Juliet. Additionally, Bianca served as Charge Artist for As You Like It and Co-Charge Artist for She Kills Monsters.
PRODUCTION TEAM BIOS
TRAVIS SIEPL (Director) is a junior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Directing. Previous credits include The Wolves (Assistant Director), She Kills Monsters (Assistant Director), The Penelopiad (Assistant Stage Manager), Stupid F##king Bird (Sound Board Op), Proof (Stage Manager), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Stream Team).
MATT GOULD (Stage Manager) is a junior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits at UW-Parkside include The Aliens (Jasper), As You Like It (Duke Senior/Charles the Wrestler), She Kills Monsters (Miles), The Penelopiad (Odysseus/Maid) and as deck crew and an uncredited role as a Janitor in The Thanksgiving Play. Matt is a native of Texas and a Veteran of the United States Navy.
KAYLN DIERCKS (Intimacy Advisor) is a junior Theatre Arts major with concentrations in Acting and Design and Technology. Previous acting credits include Hir (Narrator), The Wolves (Soccer Mom, U/S #8, #11), Indecent (U/S The Middle) and The Penelopiad (Maid/Naiad Mother). Additional credits include The Aliens (Wardrobe Supervisor).
PETR JAROS-VITACCO (Lighting Director) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Design and Technology. Past credits include Hir (Stage Manager), The Wolves (Assistant Lighting Designer), She Kills Monsters (Head Electrician), Circle Mirror Transformation (Lighting Designer), and The Mad Ones (Adam U/S). Recently, Petr directed Anne of Green Gables and a Playwriting Showcase at Racine Lutheran High School.
MAGGIE JAY (Sound Designer) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with concentrations in Acting and Design and Technology. Previous acting credits at UW-Parkside include Gruesome Playground Injuries (u/s Kayleen), Circle Mirror Transformation (Theresa), and The Tourists (Peggy). Additional credits inlclude The Aliens (Assistant Sound Designer), The Wolves (Scenic Charge Artist), and The Penelopiad (Deck Crew).
Casa Capri for ongoing support. The 2022/23 Theatre Arts Season was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: Trish Pettreti, Susan M. Cable, Don Cress, Heidi Skatrud, and Tom Harty.
Faculty Directing Advisor
Stage Management Faculty Advisor
Sound Design Faculty Advisor
Lighting Design Advisor
Department Administrative Assistants
Joe Lambin, Edson Melendez
Marketing & Poster Design
Theatre Arts Department Chair
Theatre Arts Artistic Director
Box Office Manager
THEATRE ARTS SUPPORTERS
The College of Arts and Humanities with the UW-Parkside Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following individuals for their investment in the Theatre Arts Department and students.
Susan M. Cable, D.D.S., '81*
Dr. Donald A. Cress*
Marie Kohler & Brian Mani*
Laurie & Steve Feiler
Debra Karp & Stephen Smiley
David R. Koss '06
Ruth A. Frear
Dr. Claire M. Hicks
Lisa & Mike Humke
Jeff & Lynn Skatrud
You can enhance Theatre Arts Education.
In the same way that mounting a play requires a team, funding it is likewise a team effort. To produce our amazing shows, we rely on a combination of sources—ticket sales, the University, and private funding.
Play a part in advancing the student experience through your one-time or recurring contribution to the Dr. Donald A. Cress Theatre Production Enhancement Fund.
Since 1968, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has continued to build a reputation as an outstanding liberal arts institution with particularly strong fine arts programs. With The Rita Tallent Picken Center for Arts & Humanities, our state-of-the-art instructional facilities and stunning performance venues match our award-winning academic programs and provide even greater community access. UW-Parkside offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as specialized online programs. Each year, more than 100 College of Lake County graduates transfer to UW-Parkside to pursue a four-year degree. The award-winning Theatre Arts program is a popular destination for transfer students.