South Coast Rep Gives Voice to The Happy Ones in March 2 Reading | Playbill

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News South Coast Rep Gives Voice to The Happy Ones in March 2 Reading South Coast Repertory's final NewSCRipts reading of the 2008-09 season is The Happy Ones by Julie Marie Myatt, presented 7:30 PM March 2.
Julie Marie Myatt
Julie Marie Myatt Photo by Henry DiRocco/SCR

Directed by Oanh Nguyen and commissioned by SCR in Costa Mesa, CA, The Happy Ones is the 108th play to receive a staged reading as part of SCR's play reading program.

Myatt's My Wandering Boy received its world-premiere production at SCR in 2007 as part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. The NewSCRipts reading of The Happy Ones will take place on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

According to SCR, "In The Happy Ones, Walter Wells, hardware store owner and family man, feels that Orange County in 1975 might just be the happiest place on earth. But his own contentment evaporates in an instant when calamity strikes. …But then an unexpected and uneasy relationship develops between Walter and a man named Bao Ngo, who has carried his own tragedy with him from his homeland in Vietnam to his new home in Little Saigon. Across a cultural divide, they each look to the other for a way back — if not to happiness, then at least to peace."

The reading cast will include Nike Doukas as Mary-Ellen Hughes; Raphael Sbarge as Walter Wells; Nathan Baesel as Gary Stuart; Greg Watanabe as Bao Ngo.

Myatt's play My Wandering Boy was featured in the 2007 Summer Play Festival in New York City after its SCR premiere. Her play Someday was commissioned by and premiered as part of Cornerstone Theatre Company's Justice Cycle. Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a tour of that production went on to the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. Boats on a River was commissioned by and premiered at the Guthrie Theater, was a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and was recorded for the LA Theatre works radio play series. Her ten-minute play Mr. and Mrs. premiered at the 2007 Humana Festival. The Sex Habits of American Women was produced by the Guthrie Theater, among others, and premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Her work has been developed or seen at Denver Center Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, A.S.K. Theatre Projects, LAByrinth Theater Company, among others. Myatt has received a Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center and a McKnight Advancement Grant. She is currently working on commissions for Denver Center Theatre Company, ACT Seattle, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Tickets to the NewSCRipts reading of The Happy Ones can be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. NewSCRipts tickets are $12 each and include audience discussions with the playwright and dramaturg.

South Coast Repertory is located in the Folino Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA.


The annual NewSCRipts series of three Monday evening play readings by emerging and established playwrights was launched in 1985 "as a way to bring the audience into the process of creating new work." After each public reading, audience members "engage in lively exchanges with the playwright and become active participants in the play's development, providing invaluable feedback for the writer."

Plays selected for the NewSCRipts series have earned six Pulitzer Prize nominations with Margaret Edson'as Wit winning the prize in 1999.

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