WAYS TO BE HAPPY

Several years after the country falls under the sway of criminal corruption, Maddie (a former activist turned convenience store clerk) finds herself stuck in her dead-end job, without hope and unable to move forward. When a gun-toting convenience store burglar convinces her to embrace the new America and turn to crime, Maddie embarks on a surreal journey involving a punk rocker, an philandering academic, a...
Several years after the country falls under the sway of criminal corruption, Maddie (a former activist turned convenience store clerk) finds herself stuck in her dead-end job, without hope and unable to move forward. When a gun-toting convenience store burglar convinces her to embrace the new America and turn to crime, Maddie embarks on a surreal journey involving a punk rocker, an philandering academic, a former child actor and a man in a giant penguin suit. WAYS TO BE HAPPY is a post-Trumpian comedy about rediscovering hope when you're surrounded by insanity.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

WAYS TO BE HAPPY

Recommended by

  • Cheryl Bear:
    11 Apr. 2021
    When hope is lost, Maddie goes on a hilarious journey to rediscover hope in an insane world. Well done!
  • Ignition Arts:
    23 May. 2018
    A quirky romp from the depressing Stop n' Run to Peter Penguinland, home of eternal happiness. A hopeful black comedy marked by White's emblematic dark humor, quixotic characters, and relentless optimism.
  • Michele Aldin Kushner:
    21 Jan. 2015
    David Lee White's technique is impeccable and his comedy hysterical. It's unusual to find a play that adheres as well to traditional structure but employs quirky, modern sensibilities. This whirlwind, comedic crime adventure is a wonderfully strange love story - with introspective characters we think we know - but get to learn so much more about. And of course there's a penguin suit.

Character Information

  • Peter Penguin
    Middle-aged,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    A man in a giant Penguin costume. Peter Penguin is a popular children’s icon. Don’t you remember? Played by the same actor that plays Barry.
  • Maddie
    30s-40s,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    Works at a Run ‘n Go. Used to be a political activist. Never finished her thesis.
  • Longhofer
    50s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Media Studies professor. Dates his students. Collects comic books.
  • Doreen
    70s,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    Doesn’t smoke anymore so get off her back about it.
  • Claire
    20s,
    Any
    ,
    Presents Female
    College student. Punk musician. Dresses in black. Totally loves death.
  • Charly
    30s-40s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Robs convenience stores
  • Barry
    50s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Used to be a child actor. Starred on the hit show “Those Crazy McGillacuddys.” Double-casting is possible (Peter Penguin/Barry OR Peter Penguin/Doreen)

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Rider University New Play Festival
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    The Hive Exposed Series
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    Dreamcatcher Rep
    ,
    2013

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Dreamcatcher Rep
    ,
    2020