Playwrights Horizons Announces Live For Five Lottery For IF PRETTY HURTS...

Playwrights Horizons Opens Live for Five Lottery, February 4-7, for the World Premiere of Tori Sampson's If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, Directed by Leah C. Gardiner and Choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (February 15-March 31, 2019)

Audiences Can Enter the Lottery to Win $5 Tickets to the First Preview (Friday, February 15) of Sampson's Epic Bridging a Nigerian Folktale and American Pop Culture to Explore Impossible Beauty Standards and Their Repercussions

Playwrights Horizons (Artistic Director Tim Sanford, Managing Director Leslie Marcus) will, from today, February 4, through Thursday, February 7, accept entries for the Live for Five online lottery, giving out $5 tickets to the world premiere production of If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, an explosive epic brimming with live music and dance, written by Tori Sampson (This Land Was Made, Cadillac Crew), directed by Obie winner Leah C. Gardiner (Born Bad, Generations), and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (Fairview, Funnyhouse of a Negro), February 15-March 31, 2019. Playwrights Horizons created Live for Five in 2007 as part of their Arts Access program to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. Since its inception, over 3,000 theatergoers have been able to attend the theater thanks to the initiative.

Live for Five makes a limited number of $5 tickets available for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website ( The Live for Five lottery for If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka will be for tickets to the first preview on Friday evening, February 15 at 8pm in the Mainstage Theater at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd Street). The production has an Opening Night set for Sunday, March 10 and will play through Sunday, March 31. Details for the Live for Five lottery are as follows: beginning today, February 4 at 12 Noon, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at Entries will be accepted until Thursday, February 7 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3pm on Thursday, February 7 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets; they will have until Friday, February 8 at 12 Noon to book tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email to a limited standby list starting Friday, February 8 at 3pm on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased by winners for $5 each.

If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka is set in the village of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, where 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. These frenemies jockey for their rank in a culture built on ideals forever out of reach in this decidedly contemporary riff on a Nigerian fable.

As America's Eurocentric beauty standards have spilled from the media and public figures in the form of racist comments about powerful, visible Black women, Sampson was struck by a way to bridge an interest in re-centering African storytelling in theater while applying a Brechtian analysis to contemporary American society. She began to interview women on beauty standards, and used elements of these encounters to flesh out four central young women characters in a play expanding on a folktale her uncle had related to her and deconstructing the notions of singular, ideal beauty within it.

The cast features Rotimi Agbabiaka (Regional: Bootycandy; Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3)as Chorus, Maechi Aharanwa (Off-Broadway: The Winter's Tale, An Octoroon. TV: Show Me a Hero )as Ma, Jason Bowen (Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong. Off-Broadway: My Ma ana Comes. TV: Blue Bloods ) as Dad, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Regional: Seven Guitars, The Model American) as Massassi, Ian Duff (Off-Broadway: Dutch Masters; TV: Homeland ) as Kasim, N k Uche Kadri (Off-Broadway: School Girls , The Death of the Last Black Man ) as Akim, Mirirai Sithole (Off-Broadway: School Girls..., The Homecoming Queen. TV: Black Mirror, Russian Doll ) as Adama, Phumzile Sitole (TV: Orange Is the New Black, Elementary, The Good Fight ) as Kaya, and Carla R. Stewart (Broadway, National Tour, and Regional: The Color Purple) as The Voice of the River. The creative team includes Louisa Thompson (Scenic Designer), Dede Ayite (Costume Designer), Matt Frey (Lighting Designer), and Ian Scot (Original Music and Sound Designer), Cookie Jordan (Hair and Wig Designer), Alyssa K. Howard (Production Stage Manager), and Noah Silva (Assistant Stage Manager).

Single tickets, Flex Passes (customizable bundle, $220+), and Memberships ($45 to join, $25 preview tickets) are now on sale. Package holders receive priority booking and seating, ticket exchange privileges, parking and dining discounts, and exclusive mailings of Playwrights Horizons Bulletins. Patron packages start at $1,750. Packages are available at

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