That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play.

Lisa Joyce and Danielle Slavick in “That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play” at Rattlestick Theatre. (Sandra Coudert)


“Raunchy, savvy… the twisted, caffeinated world of the show imagines the collective unconscious of a culture where girls never stop going wild… [Callaghan] push(es) her audience’s buttons with an aggressive treatment of some of the darker corners of the human psyche.” -The New York Times

“Funny, scary, messy, and forthrightly feminist.” -Village Voice

“A submersion in the anarchy of ambivalence: variously a rant, a riff, a rumble-about our notions of naturalism, objectification, perversity, and beauty… There’s sass and sarcasm in Callaghan’s high-energy punk writing.” -John Lahr, The New Yorker

“Mind-blowing images and soul-crushing language flowing wildly.” -Backstage

“Offbeat satirical comedy… outrageous, intelligent fun…” -Variety

“Sheila Callaghan seems to have put third-wave feminism, Gen-Y gender confusion and macho writerly cliches in a blender set to high speed. Her manic, angry, deftly constructed That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play whipsaws between laughs and squirms as Callaghan trawls the mucky depths of male-constructed femininity.” -TimeOut NY

“This is one of the most fun, most seemingly random, and most high-energy shows I’ve ever seen. I laughed out loud more than I do at stand-up comedy routines, and I could not have predicted anything that happened to save my life (which is a good thing).” -Curtain Up

“The play constantly shifts our perceptions of what’s ‘real’ inside its own play-world, what we take for granted and then are forced to reconsider. The more Callaghan seems to be stripping down, stylistically, to a conventional form of theatrical realism, the more the play traffics in-and mocks-utterly familiar conventions….Callaghan’s work tends to be linguistically dense, thick with lyric, metaphor- and image-packed prose.”

“Offers a refreshingly honest and modern take on some incredibly relevant issues surrounding women, misogyny, male fantasy, war, and female representations in art and culture…funny, and sad, and horrific, and thoughtful.”

“Rarely does a play have the effect of pure explosion. That Pretty Pretty is a Carnivale of hairbands, feminist angst, male hormones and pop culture references, all peppered with a healthy dose of Jane Fonda…This play has ambition. And dare I say it, balls.”

“The clever juxtaposition of art film mores alongside crappy revisionism of the 80’s reveals that misogyny takes forms both highbrow and low. And then, to have all the delicious absurdity of the play coming through the keystrokes of a violently misogynist twenty something was just…yes. Yes, yes, yes.”

“This disturbing, provoking and brain stretching piece deals with the subject of women’s voices in media. It questions the portrayal of women in an industry and a world where our images are distorted and manipulated primarily by men and it does so in a way that draws in the audience and plays with the convention of theatre itself.”

“Clever and outrageously transgressive… [a] politically pointed, hallucinogenic dissection of the psychosexual can of worms that seethe between male desire and the representation of what has been called ‘the abyss of the feminine’… Seesawing between broad caricature and a more chilling naturalism, Callaghan connects the dots of her argument through a series of ever-shifting and telescoping points of view… The star of the show is Callaghan’s smart text and its escalating absurdities.” –LA Weekly

“This isn’t a play for the faint of heart… it’s a criticism of the misogyny and absurd gender roles that women, and to some extent men, are forced into when put through the meat grinder of the male authorial voice.” –KCRW

“Callaghan deserves credit for taking on a complicated issue in such a creative way.” –Stage Raw: LA

“Woooeeee… Just when you thought you were so downtown, so shockproof, so cool, along comes a show that really shocks. And it shocks purposefully. And it’s funny. And it’s a chance to see five knockout performances by some very brave actors under Joe Canuso’s masterful direction.” -Philadelphia Inquirer

“At last, a genuine mind-blowing theater experience….we are left dumbstruck — and dizzyingly alive.” -Philadelphia City Paper

That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play “emerges as an effective attack on misogyny and violence, and a provocative look at gender and identity.” -Philadelphia Weekly

“More questions are raised than answered, and in its weird and rough way the play is radiant with ideas… You have to see it to believe it.” -Curtain Up

“Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play will blow you away… it’s a vital and powerful piece of playwriting.” -Talkin’ Broadway

“Tonight’s performance… had the juice, chutzpah, guts, gall, audacity, and, forgive a chauvinistic term, ‘balls,’ to make you squirm, gasp, giggle and laugh as it hammered its message home… Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty is entertaining, thinking, well-meaning and gritty performance art. It has moments of brilliance, lots of them… -Stage Magazine

“A maddeningly fast paced expose on how an evening at the theatre could resemble an evening surfing the internet… juicy, biting, precise language… a very relevant piece of work… -Angry Patrons Blog

That Pretty Pretty is a raucous and bawdy show that drags you along for a bumpy ride and offers no apologies. It’s a fun piece of theater that works your brain and embodies today’s never-ending media stream.”

“Sheila Callaghan’s dark comedy… isn’t for the faint of heart… [it] boils into complicated, penetrating portrayal of gender relations in our supposedly modern, forward-thinking society- and the picture it paints ain’t all that pretty.” -Culturemob Blog

“Sheila Callaghan’s blacker-than-black comedy, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, … is practically flawless… ” Chicago Tribune

“Blending sexual violence, blizzards of pop-culture references and meta-meta-narrative into a bitter, frothy brew, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play plunges gleefully into [its] trashy, excessive theatricality… this energetic take [brings] across the hysterical, candy-coated surfaces of the playwright’s pop nightmare.” -Time Out Chicago

“A non-stop macabre funhouse in this blood-spurting Midwest Premiere. While the topics of rape, the objectification of women and misogynistic violence are not fun; the distorted funhouse mirrors that Callaghan shows them through make for startlingly silly scenes… There’s a lot of meat to the subtext of Callaghan’s mad-capped treatise… profound fearlessness and fascinating focus… dark, daring and delightful… That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play will provide you with a ferocious feast.” -Chicago Stage Review

“An eccentric, angry, daring, profane, sometimes wildly funny comic drama about a pair of blood-thirsty sisters on a murderous rampage… ” -The Chicago Reader

“This is a show that forces you to see things you don’t want to see, and think things you don’t want to think, wrapped up in a darkly comedic and unrelentingly graphic package. That Pretty Pretty is a brave show, for playwright, actors, director, crew, and audience–truly stunning, in the most literal sense of the word.” -Baltimore City Paper

“There’s painful humor at every painful turn… The incongruity of reassuring tone and horrific actions is unique in my theatergoing experience…” -Baltimore Broadway World