Children of Happyland is about the question of how much adaptive behaviour is healthy or rather: when is it time to show up for yourself and no longer shy away from confrontations?

When a group consists of a majority (or solely) of people who try to please the others, frictions and potential conflicts become invisible and a sort of fake-harmony is created: Happyland. Soon it becomes obvious that Happyland is a place of silent terror, where everyone is tiptoeing around each another in constant fear of being a burden. The characters are so unfamiliar with resistance that a tiny misunderstanding immediately erupts into a major catastrophe.

Children of Happyland is a theatrical experiment that researches the full spectrum between conflict and harmony. Starting from a warlike dystopian mistrust, going to an exaggerated politeness in an extreme effort to uphold harmony, the performers eventually create an arena in which they can express themselves without losing their sense of care for their surroundings.

With this piece we seek to let the audience immerse in an exploration of two paradoxical human desires: wanting to fit in with the group on the one hand and wanting to feel heard and seen as a unique individual on the other hand.

Children of Happyland premiered on 24th September 2022 at Krijn Boon Studio, Theater Rotterdam


Zarah Bracht concept, direction | Matteo Bifulco, Melyn Chow, Ashley Ho, Anneke Sluiters & Dennis Tiecken performers | Liesje Knobel scenography, costumes | Hendrik Walther light design | Ata Güner music | Sabine Krüsmann assistant scenography and costumes | Renate Hofkens & Marvin van den Berg technical operators, Theater Rotterdam | Emma Boots production manager, Theater Rotterdam 

Poster / PR photography by Nick Helderman 
Scene photography by Bart Grietens
Produced by Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam

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