In the play “Happy,” the brutally honest Eva, who believes that people who say they are happy are phony, is pitted against the good-natured, unassuming Alfred.“Add gin and stir,” quips Moscow playwright Robert Caisley, who wrote the play while considering how a positive trait, such as happiness, could become someone’s tragic flaw.
When the play was staged at the New Jersey Repertory Company, the New York Times noted the “edgy” writing, saying “the show delivers an often-spirited duel around the dinner table that eventually draws blood.”
“Happy” received a National New Play Network Rolling Premiere in 2012. It has been produced in Montana, Florida, Chicago and California and was published by Samuel French Inc. It premieres Friday at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow as a fundraiser for the Idaho Repertory Theatre. A wine reception is at 7 p.m. Curtain is at 7:30. Tickets are $30 and available at BookPeople of Moscow and the University of Idaho theater office at Shoup Hall, (208) 885-6465.
Professional actors will read the parts:
Cahilan Shine as Eva — Shine is a senior in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Montana. A Seattle native, she has worked for the Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O and Book-It Repertory Theatre.
Jeremy Sher as Alfred — Sher recently moved to Missoula, Mont., from Chicago where he played Ned Darrell in the six-hour production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude” at the Goldman Theatre. He’s also worked at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Shakespeare Theatre D.C. Off-Broadway: the New Victory Theater.
Kelly Quinnett as Melinda — An associate professor of performance at UI, Quinnett has extensive experience in theater and film and is a former winner of the National Irene Ryan Acting Competition.
Jere Hodgin, directing and as Eduardo — A former artistic director of IRT, Hodgin has produced more than 250 productions including plays, operas and musicals. He is a member and former chairman of the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Montana.