In a sterile trompe l’oeil landscape, a woman named Winnie is buried up to her waist in a mound of dirt. Her husband, Willie, lives in his own hole, barely heard, and even less frequently seen. Each day, a buzzer signals when Winnie should sleep, and when she should wake, and she takes that as a sign that someone, or something, is watching over her as she sinks deeper and deeper into the earth. Even as the ground creeps up around her neck, Winnie maintains her cheerful optimism, takes comfort in small mercies, and expects that every new day will be a happy one.
Named one of the 40 best plays of all time by The Independent, Happy Days contains one of the most haunting and powerful leading female roles in 20th century theatre. Touching on themes of memory, aging, and the particular suffering of women in modern society, Happy Days' enigmatic plot resists interpretation, and the questions uttered by Winnie herself - “What does it mean? What is it meant to mean?” - are left tantalizingly unanswered.
Happy Days guide sections