THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS Comes to UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance
UCSB's Department of Theater and Dance presents The World of Extreme Happiness, a play by faculty member and award-winning playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig. The World of Extreme Happiness opens February 16 and runs through February 25 in the Performing Arts Theater. This moving tragedy about the complexities of human nature set in present-day China comes to life under the direction of Daniel Stein.
The story revolves around Sunny who was unwanted from the moment she's born, but determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city. As naive as she is ambitious, Sunny views her new job in a grueling factory as a stepping-stone and attends self-help classes to improve her chances at securing a coveted office position. When Sunny's attempts to pull herself out of poverty lead to dire consequences, Sunny's bright outlook starts to unravel in a series of harrowing and darkly comic events, as she begins to question a system enriching itself by destroying its own people - and stand up against the power.
This fearless, satirical, and humorous story, with its themes of the one-child policy and the hopelessness of poverty, continues to fascinate the audience with its untold opportunities.
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is an internationally produced playwright whose work has been staged at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre of Great Britain, Manhattan Theater Club, The Goodman Theatre, Trafalgar Studios 2 on the West End and the József Katona Theater in Budapest. Frances' plays have been awarded the Wasserstein Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award (selected by David Hare), an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the David A. Callichio Award and the Keene Prize for Literature. She has held year-long playwright residencies at Manhattan Theater Club and Marin Theater Company, and is currently under commission from South Coast Rep, The Goodman Theatre and the National Theatre.
Daniel Stein started his professional career with the French National Theatre and has been creating, directing and performing non-verbal and verbal plays. Stein's solo performances have toured in more than 30 countries, as well as in theatres such as the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center here in the United States. He has taught master classes throughout the world at institutions such as Juilliard School of Drama, New York and The Institute of Dramatic Arts, Tokyo.
Join the Department of Theater and Dance as they explore how the themes of identity, social forces, and power pull towards psychological realism in a tragic examination of a country in the midst of rapid change.