“Our day of marriage shall be yours; one feast, one house, One Mutual Happiness.”
That line was supposed to close my wedding ceremony, but the officiant forgot. I finally used it many years later when I stumbled into becoming an accidental, unqualified officiant of four weddings.
One Mutual Happiness is the title of this summer’s Fringe folly, a tale of those weddings, a couple of illnesses, and the support we all readily give to each other. This is the play I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s a true story of love, ritual, community, loss, celebration. There are lots of laughs and perhaps a few tears.
One Mutual Happiness is about the things we do because that’s where we are, that’s what we do. Our lives are replete with such serendipity. Last year at Fringe, I had a surprising success with Wombat Drool, thanks to luck and the incredible members of Team Wombat.
So much of what succeeds in our lives is due to the generosity and talents of others. One Mutual Happiness is about that, and our process reflects that theme.
Rich O’Meara is a phenomenally talented composer and performer. He saw Wombat Drool last year and approached me about supplying music for a future show. I told him this would only work if it was a complete collaboration. The music had to be as important as the words. The play had to be a complete integration of words and music. Rich’s music doesn’t just underscore, it drives One Mutual Happiness, creating a soundscape of musical sophistication and emotional depth. Rich composes music as narrative, and I construct prose using musical structure.
The creative and steady directorial hand of Jennifer Knight and the contributions of the rest of Team Happiness are what make this puppy run. I am in awe of their professionalism, their talent, and especially their willingness to work with this crazed neophyte.
And the audience is part of the team, too. We need you to cheer, jeer, laugh, and cry with us. Join the ceremony. We’re all in this together. Marriage/Loss/Marimba!
David S. Kessler has written numerous sonnets, including one in 45 minutes for WNYC’s The Next Big Thing, songs for the short-lived Fidel’s Marching Marimba Band and Diaper Service, three novels for nobody in particular, and numerous scientific papers. He spent almost four decades at the National Zoo, many of them as a small mammal biologist. Wombat Drool, his 2015 Capital Fringe show, was a surprise hit, playing to sold-out audiences. He was the 2015 recipient of DC Theatre Scene’s Gary Lee Maker Audience Award.
One Mutual Happiness
July 9 — July 23, 2016
916 G Street NW
Show details and tickets