Happy Days

Ticket Price

We Suggest $35
More If You Have it
Less if you don't


3400 Main St
Houston, TX 77002


Sep 23, 2022 -
Oct 15, 2022
“Happy Days” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Cast & Personnel

Assistant Director
Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Prop Design
Stage Manager
Booth Crew

The Play

“Here all is strange.”

Beckett’s existential tragicomedy Happy Days concerns itself with Winnie, a middle- class, middle-aged woman who is quite literally stuck, buried to her waist in crusted earth. Her husband Willie lives in a hole behind her mound, physically and emotionally out of reach. Even in his company she is essentially alone. Armed with a shopping bag of everyday items and routines, a series of half-remembered stories, songs, and prayers, and an undying capacity for optimism, she presses through an endless series of unforgiving days to the merciful night to come. The bell rings again and when the blazing sun comes charging back, she is buried up to her neck. Her last resources depleted, her arms and body sunk and gone, her predicament is irreversible, hellish, seemingly eternal. Through it all she perseveres, struggling with all that remains to make real her impossibly hopeful exclamation: “Oh this will be another happy day!”

Tamarie Cooper plays Winnie and Jason Nodler directs, reprising their roles from the Infernal Bridegroom production 22 years ago.

The Playwright

SAMUEL BECKETT was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Beckett's plays became the cornerstone of 20th-century theater beginning with ''Waiting for Godot,'' which was first produced in 1953. As the play's two tramps wait for a salvation that never comes, they exchange vaudeville routines and metaphysical musings - and comedy rises to tragedy. Before Beckett there was a naturalistic tradition. After him, scores of playwrights were encouraged to experiment with the underlying meaning of their work as well as with an absurdist style. As the Beckett scholar Ruby Cohn wrote: "After 'Godot,' plots could be minimal; exposition, expendable; characters, contradictory; settings, unlocalized, and dialogue, unpredictable. Blatant farce could jostle tragedy." For his accomplishments in both drama and fiction, the Irish author, who wrote first in English and later in French, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. At the root of his art was a philosophy of the deepest yet most courageous pessimism, exploring man's relationship with his God… As illustrated by the final words of his novel, "The Unnamable": "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on." Or as he later wrote: "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

In the Media

Catastrophic Theater finds the funny and sad magic in Beckett
September 30, 2022 | Houston Chronicle | Andrew Dansby
Houston’s independent Catastrophic Theater troupe celebrates 30 years with a production about a woman buried by life and memories.
REVIEW: Catastrophic Unleashes An Artistic Dream Team for Beckett’s Happy Days
September 24, 2022 | Houston Press | Jessica Goldman
And thanks to a superlative production now onstage at Catastrophic Theatre, we not only get Beckett’s harmony in Happy Days, we get the whole damn symphony.
Catastrophic Theatre Brings Back Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days Once Again
September 20, 2022 | Houston Press | Margaret Downing
It’s the 30th anniversary of Catastrophic Theatre (if you include their previous incarnation as Infernal Bridegroom Productions) and what could be more appropriate than a Samuel Beckett existential play at the Houston theater known for its avant garde tradition.

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