About the Show

After three acclaimed runs in Chicago, Theater Oobleck presents the New York City premiere of Mickle Maher’s THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS at The Tank, as part of the annual Flint & Tinder theater series. The production features original cast members Diana Slickman, Colm O’Reilly, and Kirk Anderson.   A comedy in rhymed verse, THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS is told via two lectures on the poetry of William Blake: one given in the morning by Bernard, a middle-aged, barely published poet of scant scholarship, and the other in the afternoon by his lover, Ellen, a reputable Ph.D. Having engaged the evening before in a highly inappropriate display of public affection on the main lawn of their rural New England campus, the two lecturers must now, in class, either apologize for their behavior or effectively justify it if they want to keep their jobs.


“An enjoyably lunatic endeavor”
– Chicago Tribune

“Goosed by precise, masterful performances, Maher’s text is almost endlessly engaging and frequently hilarious.”
– Time Out Chicago

“If the American theater harbors a precedent for Mickle Maher’s astonishing 2011 play There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, I’ve never found it.”
– Chicago Reader

“Funny, witty, literate and profound."
– Windy City Times

“The most remarkable mix of poetry and drama you are ever likely to see.”

About the Artists

Mickle Maher’s plays have appeared Off-Broadway and around the world, and have been supported by grants from the NEA, the Rockefeller MAP fund, and Creative Capital. They include Song About Himself; An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening; The Hunchback Variations; The Strangerer; Spirits to Enforce ; Cyrano (translator) The  Cabinet; Lady Madeline; The Pine; and An Actor Prepares (an adaptation of Stanislavsky's seminal book).  He is a cofounder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck, and has taught playwriting and related subjects at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University. His plays are published by Hope and Nonthings.  

This is Kirk Anderson’s first time on a New York stage. His most recent work was with Chicago's Trapdoor Theatre on The Woman Before, where he also appeared in their production of Overweight, unimportant: Mishape. He was in the first production of Theater Oobleck's There Is A Happiness That Morning Is. Prior to that he was seen in TUTA's production of The Wedding. He has also performed at the Goodman Theatre in The Ballad Of Emmet Till. At Steppenwolf he has appeared in the Diary of Anne Frank, Huck Finn, Lady Madeline, Uncle Vanya, The Duel, and Penelope, as fight choreographer. Other credits include Dandelion Wine with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist with Next Theatre Company, Mozart And Salieri with  TUTA. With European Repertory Company he appeared in Teibele And Her Demon, Go Away-Go Away, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, (After Dark Award), Slavs!, Zoyka's Apartment, and Ivanov. Other notable credits include: Action Movie, The Play, Defiant Theatre; Comedy Of Errors and Hamlet with Shakespeare Repertory. 

Colm O’Reilly is a company member of Theater Oobleck, with whom he’s appeared in Song About Himself, There is a Happiness that Morning Is, An Apology for the Course & Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening, The Strangerer (Off-Broadway and in Chicago), Letter Purloined, The Hunchback Variations, and Spirits to Enforce. Other credits include Sweet Bird of Youth (Goodman); Trevor (A Red Orchid Theatre), Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf); Elevator Tours (Barrie Cole); Still in Play, The Caretaker, Waiting for Godot, Texts for Nothing, Love Horse (Curious Theatre Branch); The Cabinet (Redmoon). He also played Stanislavski #1 in Mickle Maher’s adaptation of An Actor Prepares at the University of Chicago. He is the recipient of 3 Orgie Theater Awards.

Diana Slickman has been a writer and performer in Chicago theater for three decades.  A Theater Oobleck ensemble members since 2003, she has appeared in several productions including Spirits to Enforce, Letter Purloined, and earlier this year in Mickle Maher’s Song About Himself.  She’s also a member of BoyGirlBoyGirl, a group solo performance ensemble, with whom she has co-created a dozen or so shows inspired by found text.  Diana has appeared in recent shows with The Goodnight Ladies, Dog and Pony Theater, and the side project.  She is a Neo-Futurist of  ‘90s vintage, where she wrote for and performed in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and many of their prime time productions, including Drinking and Writing and The Sycamore Story. Diana also performs her own writing at various live lit shows around Chicago, including Write Club, Essay Fiesta, and the Paper Machete.  

Theater Oobleck is an artistic collective dedicated to producing and performing original works of theater for the benefit of, and at low or no cost to, the members of the Chicago community and beyond. All our works are created and developed by members of the Oobleck ensemble, working in concert to create a collaborative vision without an overseeing director. We have produced about seventy world-premiere productions over the past twenty-seven years, as well as eighteen remounts of earlier productions.

312 West 36th Street / First Floor / New York, NY 10018