Cover photo by Jouko Keski-Santii

Beautiful Bodies

Laura Shaine Cunningham
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An avant garde baby shower runs amok in a downtown New York loft. Hilarious and moving, the women friends confront one another at a pivotal moment in their lives.

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (6 female)
Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Cunningham displays a knack for smart, catty chatter … the sophisticated and often funny repartee contribute to the play’s swiftness and appeal. The parts very nearly play themselves, needing only some seasoned pros to add the right dash of pepper and spice.” —Variety

“It’s a juicy, jazzy party, with a bottomless punch bowl of wit.” —Bob Campbell, The Star-Ledger

“So Claire is pregnant, and they all know that, but none of her five friends have spoken to her in six months. This is her baby shower. The six guests met in college and are the women of playwright Laura Cunningham’s engaging and witty dramatic comedy BEAUTIFUL BODIES … Real women — and the men in their lives — certainly talk about this stuff and playwright Laura Shaine Cunningham isn’t afraid to write it down. She gives her characters honest lines, lines that reveal the ‘secret life,’ the essence of our most intimate moments.” —Dufflyn Lammers, Savannah Morning News

“Playwright Laura Cunningham’s razor-sharp ear for dialogue carries the whole thing along like a breeze. Segues from the banal into the profound are natural, and the emotional tenor never wavers. Cunningham’s ability to reveal characters’ innermost insecurities via their reactions to hors d’oeurves recalls the intense party sequences in works by British stage and screenwriter/director Mike Leigh … Cunningham also shares with Leigh an adroit sense of social cruelty and does a wonderful job of illustrating women’s penchant for both attacking and protecting each other’s weaknesses.” —Ada Calhoun, The Austin Chronicle

About the Author


  • Laura Shaine Cunningham

    Laura Shaine Cunningham is the author of six full-length plays and several dozen short plays. She debuted at Steppenwolf Theater with a main stage production of her play BANG, a dark comedy set in an underground condominium. BANG received a Jefferson Award nomination. BEAUTIFUL BODIES premiered at Olympia Dukakis’s Whole Theater in New Jersey. BEAUTIFUL BODIES has gone on to worldwide major productions. BEAUTIFUL BODIES is one of the most popular plays in Russia (Current: State Theatre Ryazan in Ryazan, Russia, and Volgograd Theatre, Russia) and Ukraine, Finland, Bulgaria, Lithuania. Her short plays are published in numerous Random House anthologies, including Vintage’s Take Ten, Take Ten II, Plays for Actresses, Leading Women, Laugh Lines, and in Shorter, Faster, Funnier and in many of the Applause Books “Best Plays” series. SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS premiered at Theater J, in Washington D.C. and WEB CAM WOMAN premiered at 13th Street Repertory Theater, and in London, at the Roundhouse. Her New York Times columns, and novels and articles often inspire or were derived from her plays. She regards herself as “trans-genre” — playwright-author-journalist and enjoys working in all three forms. She has published nine books. Laura Shaine Cunningham gives frequent lectures, and has taught playwriting at such prestigious universities as Harvard, Princeton, N.Y.U and Bennington. She is the Artistic Director of The Memoir Institute. She is a member playwright at Herbert Berghof Playwright Foundation in New York, and alumna of New Dramatists in New York, and has often worked as a member playwright in the PD (Playwright/Director Unit) at The Actors Studio in New York.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 5/31/2004
Pages 98
ISBN 9780881452426

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced at The Whole Theater

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Beautiful Bodies is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


2/23/2017 – 2/26/2017
Dominican University
River Forest, IL

4/20/2016 – 4/26/2016
Stella Adler Studio Of Acting
New York, NY