American Beauty Shop

It’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in this economy—Sue should know. It’s harder when you’ve got kids, even whip-smart, talented ones like Judy. Sue has big dreams for both her basement beauty shop and her daughter, who’s anxiously waiting for a letter from Berkeley that could change her life. Armed with tough love, combative humor and an uncompromising work ethic, Sue is struggling to balance her...
It’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in this economy—Sue should know. It’s harder when you’ve got kids, even whip-smart, talented ones like Judy. Sue has big dreams for both her basement beauty shop and her daughter, who’s anxiously waiting for a letter from Berkeley that could change her life. Armed with tough love, combative humor and an uncompromising work ethic, Sue is struggling to balance her own livelihood and Judy’s future. A heartfelt play about the true cost of dreams.
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American Beauty Shop

Recommended by

  • Aline Lathrop:
    31 May. 2018
    This play about working class women in small town America who are trying to get ahead, or at least get by, is decidedly not a triumph of the human spirit. It's far more nuanced and devastating. Dana Lynn Formby is a master of her craft.
  • Sarah Bowden:
    26 Oct. 2017
    A searing play about the difficulties of achieving one's dreams in a society with few safety nets and even fewer options for aspiring entrepreneurs. Dana Lynn Formby gives her characters blind spots and points of pride that vibrate with realism, while her language reaches poetic heights. A great examination of how tough it is to make it in America.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Steppenwolf, First Look
    ,
    2014
  • Reading
    ,
    Pegasus
    ,
    2013
  • Reading
    ,
    Steep Theatre Company
    ,
    2012
  • Reading
    ,
    Florida Studio Theatre, Richard and Betty Burdick Reading Series
    ,
    2012
  • Reading
    ,
    Chicago Dramatists, Saturday Series
    ,
    2011

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Chicago Dramatists
    ,
    2016