An event every week that begins at 2:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, repeating until August 25, 2024
An event every week that begins at 2:00 PM on Sunday, repeating until August 25, 2024
August 9 – 25, 2024
Noted author Kurt Vonnegut’s first play, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE,” will run weekends from August 9 though 25, 2024. Vonnegut is most famously known for his novels “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Breakfast of Champions.” While he wrote only a couple of original stage plays, his literary works have also been adapted for the stage by other playwrights. The production will be directed by JW Ruth.
In “Happy Birthday, Wanda June,” Penelope, her son Paul, and two of her suitors, a ‘hippie’ doctor and a vacuum cleaner salesman, are having a party for her husband, big-game hunter and war hero Harold Ryan, who disappeared years ago in the Amazon and is about to be declared dead. They had just purchased a pre-decorated cake, originally intended for a dead girl named Wanda June who was run over by an ice cream truck, for the party when Harold suddenly returns with his ill-fated Amazon excursion’s pilot in tow. Wanda, along with several other deceased connections to present characters (including Harold’s ex-wife Mildred, and Major von Konigswald, the Beast of Yugoslavia, Harold’s most infamous war victim) speaks to the audience from Heaven, while a nearby group of now-dead famous characters are happily playing shuffleboard. A darkly humorous and searing examination of the excesses of capitalism, patriotism, toxic masculinity, and American culture, it perfectly captures Vonnegut’s brilliantly distinct perspective.