Happy and the River
by David Rhodes
Happy and the River tells the story of Gaylord Nelson and
the events and environment that inspired him. The play was written
by Wisconsin writer, David Rhodes, author of the critically
acclaimed novel, Driftless. Happy and the River is not
just a story about the life of Gaylord Nelson, but Wisconsin’s rich,
colorful, and sometimes controversial environmental history.
The funny and fast-moving play brings to life Wisconsin history from the days of the fur traders in the 1800’s to the first Earth Day in 1970. An original musical score by Tom Draughon underscores the production, as this cast of nine transforms into dozens of characters through more than 100 years of life in an imaginary small river town.
The play was commissioned by the City of St. Croix Falls