The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden
Short Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 3f
A father, mother and two of their three surviving children drive from Newark, New Jersey to Camden to visit their married daughter, who has recently lost her baby in childbirth.
"It should constantly be borne in mind that the purpose of this play is the portrayal of the character of Ma Kirby, the author at one time having even considered entitling the play The Portrait of a Lady. Accordingly, the director should constantly keep in mind that Ma Kirby's humor, strength and humanity constitute the unifying element throughout. This aspect should always rise above the merely humorous characteristic details of the play. " - Thornton Wilder, "Notes for the Producer," 1931
"My earlier one-act plays, before Our Town, were free of scenery too and things went back and forth in time...In my plays I attempted to raise ordinary daily conversation between ordinary people to the level of the universal human experience." - Thornton Wilder in an interview with Bob McCoy, 1974
KeywordsAdolescence, Childhood, Christianity, Death, Illness/Health, Love, Marriage, Memory, Parenting/Family, Religion
- No Special Cautions
- Minimum Fee: $45 per performance
- Time Period: 1930s
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Setting: The Kirby house; then the Kirby family car trip. The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden requires no scenery-just a curtain back-drop, a cyc, or an empty stage.
- Additional Features: Mime
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
MA - Mrs. Kate Kirby
ARTHUR - 13, her son
CAROLINE - 15, her daughter
BEULAH - 22, the Kirbys' married daughter who lives in Camden, New Jersey
- Ensemble cast
- Non-Traditional casting
- Features Children
- Features Teens
- Roles for Children
Alternatively, this play can be cast using 1 boy, 1 girl, and 2 male adults, and 2 female adults.
Happy Journey was first produced November 25, 1931, at the Yale University theater in New Haven, Connecticut, by the Yale Dramatic Association and the Vassar College Philalethis, with The Long Christmas Dinner, Love and How to Cure It, and Such Things Only Happen in Books.