Happy Pills (full-length)
After a nuclear attack on major U.S. cities, happiness and other emotions can no longer be produced naturally by humans; their brain chemistry has been severely altered due to nuclear fallout. The Integrated Borders Union, a new government near former Washington D.C., works with local drug manufacturers to produce chemically-created emotions; these pills are part of the mandatory Pill Program for all citizens residing in the IBU.
To those wandering the wasteland, they must survive the terrain and hungry groups of hunters.
We go back and forth in time between Fern’s present, in which she resides in the Integrated Borders Union one year after the fallout, and Fern’s past, or what happened to her on the road a few months directly after the fallout.
Coming April 2021: adapted as a radio play for Oregon Fringe Festival 2021
- Directed/sound designed by Sayde Hampton
- Acting by Taylor Claman (Fern), Ari Francisco (Kerouac), Napsugar Hegedus (Rose), Xavier Pace (Jon), Ashley Cokinis (Kisa), Keegan Gormally (Enforcer), Alyssa Cokinis (Enforcer), and Bridget Johnston (Voice)
- Directed and filmed by Sayde Hampton
- Acting by Bridget Johnston (Kerouac) and Madison Otis (Fern)
March 2019: MadLab Theatre (Columbus, Ohio)
- Directed by Dallas Ray and assistant directed by Chase McCants
- Acting by Aubrey Marie Craddick (Fern), Ollie Worden (Kerouac), Kristi Miller Nunn (Rose), Matt Schlichting (Jon), Colleen Kochensparger (Kisa), Keith Jackson (Enforcer), Sean Tayler (Enforcer), and Jessica Ankrom (Voice)
Production photos by Steve Malone
January 2017: University of Iowa
- Directed by Sayde Hampton
- Acting by McKenna Goodman (Fern), Christina Sullivan (Kerouac), Clara Reynan (Rose), Francis Bass (Jon), Ari Francisco (Kisa), Jason Grobstich (Enforcer), Kiah Allen (Enforcer), and Bridget Johnston (Voice)
An amnesiac girl named Lana wakes up on an empty ship captained by the mysterious Sal, who pulled her out of the water. As Lana integrates herself into the ship’s routine, little pieces of her memory return as she begins to question who Sal is, why they have a ship, and where their ship is ultimately heading.
December 2017: Run of the Mill Theatre Productions (Iowa City, Iowa)
- Acting by Maggie Boelman (Lana), Josh Sazon (Sal), and Jake Hicks (Charlie)
Trigger Warning: Discussion on sexual assault and rape culture.
Two American expat English teachers in China butt heads in their new friendship, further exacerbated by an incident that leaves them stuck in understanding how rape culture operates in America vs in China.
July 2019: Heartland Theater Company’s “New Plays from the Heartland” Festival (Bloomington-Normal, IL)
- Directed by MaKenna Lockhart
- Acting by Brianna Golden (Woman), Guy Gudeman (Man), and Vicky Snyder (Friend)
Photos by Jesse Folks
**A full repertoire of Alyssa’s active full-length and one-act plays may be found on her New Play Exchange Page. Ten-minute plays, monologues, and other shorts are available upon request.