HAPPI IN IOWA

A One-Act Play

SELECTED - William Inge Festival, 2018.

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST - Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival, 2010. (When it was previously a ten-minute play.)

Becky, a transgender aunt, has returned to Iowa from Japan to try to reunite with her nephew. It's difficult because her nephew just got out of jail for a childhood crime against a gay kid.

1 TRANS FEMALE/1M, White, any size.

ONE-ACT - DRAMA - 25 mins.

 

Wyndham understands the nuances of dialogue and trusts both actors and audiences to find the volumes of things left unsaid in his pauses, because the awkward pauses do stand for things, so many things, that really need to be said, but can’t be at the moment. Both Becky and Kyle try to reconnect, but both have feelings and demons that stand in the way. Happi in Iowa is about redemption, yes, but more about love.
— George Sapio
A beautiful short play about shame, forgiveness, family, and connection. Becky and Kyle need so much from one another, and it takes a lot of messy work to get to a place where they can ask for the things they need. Asher Wyndham covers so much ground in such a short piece. A great role for a trans/non-binary actor — these characters are complex and deep.
— Jordan Elizabeth Henry
The characters are wonderfully complex. Their needs are intense and hidden beneath their distinct languages. This is such a human play with each character in need of the other without any real ability to connect, and they have both failed each other already, so it is quite a feat for such a short piece to pack such a emotional turn, and yet it feels fresh and unforced.
— Emma Goldman-Sherman
Forgiving others is tricky thing. Forgiving yourself can be even harder. [...] You think there can never be a meeting of minds or love again. But a memory, a bike and a confession are healing touches. They pave the way to a new kind of hope. A gripping play that stays with you.
— Claudia Haas
Wyndham’s gift for character development - both creating and then sustaining the connections between the audience and his characters, that seem so real, so fully-dimensional, so sympathetic — even with their flaws. It’s beautiful writing. If you haven’t read one of Wyndham’s plays for two or more characters, do yourself a favor, and check this one out. It’s simply a stunner.
— Rachael Carnes
The discussion afterwards just proves what a masterful playwright he is as the entire room lit up.
— Lee Lawing
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Writer Wyndham’s voice, his empathetic ear and masterful wit, create these engaging, artful morsels, rich and dense, yet available, and resonant. You know you’re in the hands of someone who can build character in an instant with his work. This play was a highlight of the 2018 Inge Festival readings — taut, believable and imaginative. This play would give any creative team incredible room to work and develop nuance and layers. A fine piece of theater!
— Rachael Carnes
I love this play. Wyndham has a real gift for believably showing characters change right before your eyes. It’s hard to do, but he makes it look easy
— Brendan Beseth