Happy Days

 

2015 Happy Days

A scorched earth.  A blazing sun.  A woman, Winnie, slowly sinking into the abyss.  Her only solace –  Willie, her articles of grooming and hygiene, her medication and, of course, a revolver.

Written by Samuel Beckett at the request or suggestion of a friend’s wife who opined ‘Why don’t you ever write something happy …

Yes, there is humor, wit, some shared laughter, perhaps even faintly glowing embers of a once-upon-a-time love.  But there is so much more.

Happy Days is one of the master’s few long theatrical works.  Only three of Beckett’s 19 plays are longer than 1 hour:  this, Waiting for Godot, and Endgame.  All three were written earlier in Beckett’s career.

Happy Days is one of the most challenging parts for an actress.  It is, essentially, a 90-minute monologue.  In act 1 of the 2-act play, Winnie is trapped up to her waist in a barren mound.  In act 2, she has sunk lower, trapped up to her neck.  The demands on the actress are daunting.

This production starred Jamie Langen Neubacher was Winnie and Andrew Bayer as Willie. Lighting, which garnered many positive comments from cast and audience alike, was designed and operated by Michelle Zielinski.  Set, sound and direction by Dennis Corcoran.