Mask and Dagger performs 'Reasons to be Pretty' play

By Cayla Reddington
On April 22, 2014

  • Amber davis/contributing Mask and Dagger performed “Reasons to be Pretty” Friday night, a “conversational” play about beauty and relationships. Cameron Johnson/Staff

As the classic song "Happy Together" by The Turtles faded out, the lights came on to a young couple fighting about each other's appearance. The audience was immediately engaged at the argument because not only was it relatable, but it was also an argument almost everyone has had at some point in their life.

The argument was about being good enough and being pretty enough. The comedic effect brought the audience to a roaring laughter and the fight continued.

"Reasons To Be Pretty" was put on by Mask and Dagger productions. The title explains what the entire play was about. 

Four characters in the play continued to feel less and less satisfied in their relationships. Yet even within the two-hour time span, those relationships continued to change. Amidst those changes was vulgar language, and nothing was held back. 

But the audience didn't seem to mind, perhaps because it was all very relevant and relatable. Some of the cast members shared the same sentiments. 

Gina Servello is a senior at UNH, and played the character of Steph

Servello, in this reporter's opinion, did a wonderful job and played the part perfectly. Nothing seemed forced or unrealistic. 

Servello's own experience was a bit surreal. 

"It's sometimes hard to hear yourself say certain lines because they don't sound believable coming out of your own mouth," she said. 

She said the play was written to sound conversational, which contributed to its realism and relatability. She also said "It's refreshing to perform in a piece that doesn't make you work too hard to find the honesty in it." 

Mask and Dagger is a student run group on campus that allows students to direct and produce shows on their own. Servello likes the process of Mask and Dagger because she says there is less of a "language barrier" working directly with your peers and the casts typically grow closer to one another because the plays tend to be smaller. 

With other weekend activities and musician Nelly coming to UNH for a concert the night before, the audience was small. However, the smaller audience made for an intimate setting that may have contributed to the play's overall meaning.

Those who came out to see the production did not have negative reactions to the play or the intimate setting. 

UNH student Bridget Regan said she loved the show. 

"It was humorous and easy to relate to," she said.

Regan shared one criticism and she said that the production could have reached a broader audience had the language been a little less vulgar. 

 "The play was current and relatable, and the actors were very entertaining," said UNH student Kevin Fisher.

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