Theater Company of Lafayette Presents
By Kurt Vonnegut
Directed by Brett Landis
Running February 14-29, 2020
“This is a simple minded play about men who enjoy killing things, and those who don’t.”
Or that is what Kurt Vonnegut himself would have you think at the opening. Happy Birthday, Wanda June tells the story of Penelope Ryan and her son Paul when her husband Harold Ryan, an adventurer and war hero, returns home after being presumed dead with his friend Col. Harper, who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.
Penelope had been dating two men, Dr. Woodley and Herb Shuttle, who are both very different from her husband. The characters humorously navigate Harold’s return and issues of masculinity with interjections from dead characters (the ten year old Wanda June, a Nazi war criminal, and Harold’s ex-wife) in heaven.
With a cast full of veterans to the TCL stage and newcomers alike, this multigenerational cast, from 12 to 60s, are embracing the literary giant Kurt Vonnegut’s only play. Happy Birthday, Wanda June, originally published in 1970, was recently re-visited on Broadway and with its themes of toxic masculinity, its dark humor, and its juxtaposition of death vs life, this play is still relevant today as it was in the post-Vietnam War era. Kurt Vonnegut had a career spanning over 50 years and with over twenty published works, he is a prolific author who has a large fan base. With its relevant themes and plot that brings us back to Vonnegut’s quote, “Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”, this plays beauty stands in its ability to make us think and laugh.
Performance Dates are:
February 14-29, 2020
- Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
- Sundays at 2 pm
- Name-Your-Own-Price Night: Thursday, November 27 at 7:30pm (first come, first serve at the doors!)
-Opening Night Valentine’s Day Deal: 2 tickets for $20
“It was the most intimate theater experience that I’ve had and that setting just added to an already powerful and emotional play.”The Laramie Project opening night audience member