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Play Analysis (TH 2563) Reasons To Be Pretty Summary

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Sandra Watson
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Oklahoma State University

Play Analysis (TH 2563)

Meet the Characters:
Steph is the central argument of the play. Throughout the story, she is furious. She feels
emotionally wounded by her boyfriend — who believes that her face is “regular” (which she
views as a way of saying that she is not beautiful).
Greg, the protagonist, spends most of his life trying to explain his misunderstood intentions to
others. Like other leading men in Neil LaBute plays, he is far more affable than the male
supporting characters (who are always foul-mouthed jerks). In spite of his low-key, eager-toremain-
calm personality, Greg somehow evokes anger from the rest of the characters.
Kent is the obnoxious jerk character we were just talking about. He is crude, down-to-earth, and
believes that his life is better than perfect. He not only has a good-looking wife, but he’s also
tangled in a work-related affair.
Carly is the wife of Kent and the best friend of Stephanie. She sets the conflict in motion,
spreading gossip about Greg’s supposedly true feelings.
“Reasons to Be Pretty” Plot Summary of Act One:
In Scene One, Steph is very angry because her boyfriend Greg supposedly said something
derogatory about her physical appearance. After a heated argument, Greg explains he and his
friend Kent had a conversation in Kent’s garage. Kent had mentioned that the newly hired
woman at their workplace was “hot.” According to Greg, he replied: “Maybe Steph hasn’t got a
face like that girl’s. Maybe Steph’s face is just regular. But I wouldn’t trade her for a million
bucks.”
After his admission, Steph storms out of the room.
Scene Two:
Greg hangs out with Kent, recounting his fight with Stephanie. During their conversation, Kent
chastises him about eating an energy bar directly after a meal, claiming that Greg will get fat.
Kent goes into the bathroom. Kent’s wife Carly arrives. Carly is in law enforcement. She is the
one who gossiped to Steph about Greg’s conversation, regarding her “regular face.”
Carly harshly criticizes Greg, detailing how upset Steph has become, reacting to his insensitive
words. Greg argues that he was trying to say something complimentary about Steph. Carly states
that his “communication skills suck.”

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Play Analysis (TH 2563) Reasons To Be Pretty Summary

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