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First Look at Another Word for Beauty at the Goodman Theatre

Playwright José Rivera takes us to a beauty pageant behind bars.

Carmen Zilles (Isabelle), Danaya Esperanza (Luzmery), Helen Cespedes (Xiomara), Stephanie Andrea Barron (Yolanda), and Zoë Sophia Garcia (Nora) in José Rivera's Another Word for Beauty, directed by Steve Cosson, at the Goodman Theatre
(© Liz Lauren)

Another Word for Beauty, a new play by Academy Award nominee José Rivera, is now in performances at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Inspired by an annual beauty pageant at El Buen Pastor women's prison in Colombia, the show tells the story of the women who compete for the title "Señorita Simpatía." From murderers to streetwalkers to political dissidents, these women endure daily dangers and indignities as a result of their incarceration. The pageant, however, upends the atmosphere to one of celebration and hope. With a chance at winning something, the issues of poverty, brutality, and marginalization fall to the wayside, and for each individual woman, the gowns and exotic headdresses come to signify more than their superficial beauty.

Steve Cosson directs the production, featuring Stephanie Andrea Barron as Yolanda, Helen Cespedes as Xiomara, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Marilin/Magnolia, Dan Domingues as Danny/Mauricio/Arturo, Danaya Esperanza as Luzmery, Zoë Sophia Garcia as Nora, Marisol Miranda as Carmen/Tatiana/Elisinda, Yunuen Pardo as Jeimi, Socorro Santiago as Ciliana, Heather Velazquez as Maikelyn/Eva, and Carmen Zilles as Isabelle.

Take a look below at scenes from the Chicago production, running through February 21.

For tickets and more information, click here.