We Were Happy

Premiering at American Lives Theatre in October 2022

(10-15 Min) Two Italian-American sisters remember growing up on New York's lower Eastside and find that their memories differ. But they were happy there. Maybe.
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We Were Happy

Recommended by

  • Cheryl Bear:
    7 Aug. 2020
    Memories differ, but yes they were happy. Because with love, strength and community in venturing to create a new life they took pride in all of their accomplishments. Beautiful work!
  • Jean Hartley Sidden:
    12 Feb. 2019
    Two sisters who know each other well enough to finish each other's sentences, until Lena says "And we were happy." Jenny, the elder, doesn't remember the dirty, cockroach infested, smelly, crowded Lower East Side of New York the same way. Maybe it's because Lena was the youngest and was cared for and protected by the others. But in the end, their life behind them strong and full of love, Jenny must admit that, yes, they were happy. This is a lovely tribute to immigrants in NYC and what it means to fight for and get the good life.
  • Ricardo Soltero-Brown:
    4 Jan. 2019
    Jennifer O'Grady's play has a wonderful mix-up of time and fourth-wall breaking, and an astounding back and forth. The rhythm between the sisters is divine as they reveal their abilities with memory and their Americanization - names, marriage - not just for Italians, but all immigrants. There's sass and flight and disillusionment, an investigative time-capsule for the streets of a long-gone Americana.

Character Information

  • Jenny
    A first-gen Italian-American woman and Lena's sister.
  • Lena
    A first-gen Italian-American woman and Jennie's sister.

Production History

  • Professional
    American Lives Theater