Julien Thaddeus Springer—J.T. for short—tries to make it as an athlete and, even more importantly, he tries to make it as a person who might interest some girl—any girl! J.T.'s problems begin to upset his home life and his parents exile him to his room. There's nothing in that room for him except a television set, and he begins watching "nostalgia" programs, set in what seems to him a much happier time. He becomes convinced that he's a 1950s personality trapped in the body of a modern teenager. To escape the unhappiness of his real world, he creates a make-believe world—a town called Oakdale, in the 1950s—and in Oakdale he's not a weirdo! In fact, he's someone special. In a climactic scene, J.T. fights through his problem and comes back prepared to cope with the real world of today.
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- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code H36000
- Cast Size 33
- Min. Royalty Rate $90/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 60 min
- Target Audience High School | Family (all ages)
- Performing Group High School | Community Theatre
- Genre Comedy
- ISBN(13) 9780871292629
- "We've done this many timesÑit is always loved by cast and audience, and especially by the directors! Rehearsals are almost as much fun as the actual performances."
- Review by William Bauerfeind, Old Orchard Junior High School, Skokie, Ill.
- "Happy Daze is a great play to do as a high school production. The audience and the crew both appreciated the message the play delivered."
- Review by (Mr. or Ms.) Lair, New London Community School, New London, Iowa
- "This story takes the audience on a tour of an awkward high schooler's life. While J. T. creates an imaginary 50's world, his character's friends bring him back to reality where he can't escape who he really is. Great for middle school."
- Review by Christina Presley/Judy Smith, Selvidge Middle School, Ballwin, Mo.
- "Happy Daze is a hidden secret from Dramatic Publishing. Audiences really appreciate the message of accepting each person for who they are and not what we want them to be. Awesome statement! Easily staged, simple set."
- Review by William Dawson, West High School, Waterloo, Iowa
- "Funny and poignant all at the same time. Our audiences loved it."
- Review by Patricia Hughes, Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "We really worked hard at incorporating 1950's dance into the play."
- Tip by William Dawson, West High School, Waterloo, Iowa
- "Use a live band for dance sequences and scene transitions. J.T. and Dad should be in the diner/malt shop for the last scene involving J.T.'s dreamworld (right after the dance sequence). Utilize extras for malt shop scenes. Have Slick carry a hub cap in."
- Tip by Heidi Isaac, Colorado Springs Christian High School, Colorado Springs, Colo.
- "We were able to use 40 students in the cast! We used extras in the classroom, movie theater, maltshop, Little League game, and for a big dance number in the school gym. It's great to have a straight play that can include that many kids."
- Tip by Rachel Haider, Northfield Middle School, Northfield, Minn.