happiness (and other reasons to die)

full-length comedy
3m, 2f

Ella wrecks a perfectly good suicide pact by jumping the gun, leaving her three pact-mates to deal with a lifetime of hoarded belongings, Bob Dylan memorabilia, and an immortal dog. An unlikely comedy about living, dying, and trying to find really good reasons for both.

"Planning a decent demise turns out to be more than a little tricky in “happiness (and other reasons to die),” a suspenseful, dark and funny new play by local playwright Bob Bartlett. Now on view in a winningly acted production from the Welders, a collective of D.C.-based playwrights, “happiness” turns what sounds like a gimmicky premise into an absorbing chronicle of unpredictable human behavior." Celia Wren, The Washington Post

"You might think a suicide pact among losers who meet on line would not be a terribly good premise for a warmhearted comedy—much less a noir one à la Martin McDonaugh. You might assume there’s not a lotta laughs to be had from a pull-the-plug club. Assuming Chatroulette attracts the suicidal (which apparently it does), you might not care to watch a team of chatterers go terminal in real time on stage. But you would be wrong. Dead wrong. And the evidence of your mistakenness would be Bob Bartlett’s happiness (and other reasons to die). This new entry from The Welders, directed with fascinating dispatch by Gregg Henry, is a lively and offbeat end-of-life sitcom that is anything but grave." - John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Theatre Arts

production photos