Playhouse artistic director Andrew Barnicle stages the play, which was commissioned by the California company. Opening night is slated for Jan. 6, and the show will run through Feb. 4.
The Pursuit of Happiness is part two of a trilogy in which Dresser writes "about happiness in America, with each play set in a different social class," according to an announcement. This work "centers on Annie, who believes her whole future happiness depends on her daughter going to college in the fall, and who will stop at nothing to make sure that happens. Her husband, Neil, has an obsession with his work that is gradually being overtaken by his fascination with a new and dangerous hobby. Jodi, their daughter, doesn’t believe that attending college made either of her parents happy, and detests the burden of their living vicariously through her."
The cast features Tim Cummings (The Guys), Preston Maybank (The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabbler), Matt Reidy (Inspecting Carol), Deedee Rescher (The Underpants) and newcomer Joanna Strapp.
Augusta — which debuted at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia — is the first part of the trilogy, and the final play, A View Of The Harbor, was just completed.
The Playhouse previously produced Dresser's Gun-Shy, Wonderful World and Rounding Third (the latter two directed by Barnicle). Other works by Dresser include Below The Belt, Something in the Air, The Downside, Alone at The Beach and Better Days. He also penned the book for the musical Good Vibrations. The design team for The Pursuit of Happiness includes Tom Buderwitz (set), Paulie Jenkins (lighting), Julie Keen (costumes) and David Edwards (sound).
The Laguna season continues with The Ice-Breaker (Feb. 13-March 18, 2007), The Master of the House (March 27-April 29, 2007) and The Verdi Girls (May 29-July 1, 2007).
Tickets to The Pursuit of Happiness at the Laguna Playhouse's Moulton Theater, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach, CA, are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 1. For more information visit lagunaplayhouse.com.