Reasons To Be Happy

By Neil LaBute

Four characters (Steph, Greg, Kent and Carly) whose personalities barely match up, become entangled in one another’s lives in romantic, humorous and, sometimes, violent ways as they pursue a common denominator  happiness. However, such happiness does not come without tension, sacrifice and a little bit of humor.

For mature audiences only, due to strong language.


2017 Performance Dates 

April 14, 15, 21 & 22 at 7:30 p.m.
April 16 & 23 (ASL interpreted) at 2 p.m.

Ticket Information

Adults - $10
Seniors (55 and over) - $7
Non-KSU Students (17 and under) - $7
KSU Students - Free with current ID

  • Tickets go on sale April 3.
  • Purchase tickets online, by phone or in person at the Box Office.
  • Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Checks and cash accepted in person at the Box Office.
  • Tickets purchased online or by phone will be available at Will Call.
  • Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain time and closes when the performance begins.
  • Kent State Students: Free admission with current Kent State ID. Seats must be reserved in person at the Box Office.
  • No refunds for purchased tickets. Exchanges for the same production can be made by contacting the Box Office prior to the reserved performance date.
  • Tickets held at Will Call will be forfeited if not picked up by curtain time.

Tickets sales begin Monday, April 3 at 8 a.m.


Morgan Brown: Steph
Morgan is currently a freshman at Kent State Stark, with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in theatre performance. Morgan has been acting for over a decade, during which time she has had the privilege of playing a multitude of roles, including Oliver in Oliver!, The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol (Players Guild Theatre), Peter Pan in Peter Pan, and Abigail in The Crucible (GlenOak High School) and most recently, Henrietta in Silent Sky at Kent State Stark. She has also been featured in two television commercials, and worked on multiple films. Morgan strives to be a film and theatre actress in the future. She would like to thank her family and God for their constant love and support, and Brian Newberg for the honor of being cast in this production.

Samuel Marazita: Greg

Emily Weiss: Carly
Emily is a junior at Kent State University at Stark. She is majoring in applied communication, graduating this fall. Playing Carly in this production, she is intrigued about expanding her range as an actor. Past credits include: Silent Sky (Margaret Leavitt), The Bicentennial Project (multiple roles), Blur (Assistant Stage Manager) at Kent State Stark; A Christmas Carol (Ensemble) at the Player’s Guild, Peter Pan (Lost Boy), The Music Man (Gracie Shinn), Anything Goes (Chorus) and Beauty and the Beast (Crew). The arts have always been a major part of her life, and loves that she can continue to be a part of the theatre world. Emily would like to thank her family and friends, as well as her teachers, for all of their support and guidance, and giving her the opportunities to help her do what she loves. 

Jonathan Cox: Kent

Production Team

Brian NewbergBrian Newberg: Director
Brian Newberg is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Theatre Director at Kent State University at Stark. Brian’s directing experience (over eighty production credits) includes Broadway, Regional, Equity Waiver, industry showcases, new work development, and many college productions. He has extensive experience as an actor (over seventy production credits) in the New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oregon areas. He has also served as an Associate Artistic Director for a regional theatre company, run his own private acting studios, and taught at a number of colleges on the west coast before coming to Kent State. Brian is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams: Scenic & Lighting Designer
Louis Williams is the resident technical director, and scenic and lighting designer, at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona. Read more.

Ron JarvisRon Jarvis: Sound Designer
You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program. Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point Amusement Parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for YouDating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too!, Songs for a New World, Plumfield, Iraq, Evil Dead: The Musical and Anton in Show Business.

Stephen OstertagStephen Ostertag: Costume Designer
Stephen is a theatre graduate of Kent State University, who is excited to be involved in the Kent State Stark theatre scene, where he was costume designer for Almost, Maine and Spring Awakening, costume design assistant for The Crucible, scenic/lighting design assistant for the production of Buried Child, crew for One Slight Hitch and was part of the writing ensemble for Voices from Hurt Street. Some of his favorite onstage credits include Lennie in Of Mice and Men, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Stephen also enjoys directing, writing and designing. When not busy with his two children, Stephen runs the Silver Star Youth Theatre Company with his wife, Tricia.

Breanna Morton: Assistant Director
Breanna Morton is a junior at Kent State Stark, majoring in theatre management. She graduated from Hoover High School in North Canton where she performed in Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast; worked on Peter Pan, Aida, Harvey, The Paper Chase, Wizard of Oz, and It's a Wonderful Life; and she also was stage manager for It's Murder in the Wings, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Aladdin Jr.  At Kent State Stark, she stage managed What We're Up Against, Blur, Almost, Maine and The Bicentennial Project, and performed as Frances in These Shining Lives and Annie in Silent Sky.

Ryan Lucas: Stage Manager

David Wright: Assistant Stage Manager

Aaron Byrd: Scenic/Lighting Design Assistant

Justin Miller: Sound Design Assistant

Anthony Antoniades: Crew
Anthony Antoniades appeared in Huck Finn’s StoryDating Is Tough To Do...And Funny, Too!Plumfield, IraqBuried Child, Blur and These Shining Lives at Kent State Stark, where he also stage managed Songs for a New World and Evil Dead: The Musical, served as lighting design assistant for Anton in Show Business, sound design assistant in Silent Sky and served as crew for Almost, Maine, The Bicentennial Project and What We're Up Against. He is a theatre major at Kent State.

Faith Carpenter: Crew
Faith has been acting on and off since she was little. She was in two plays and two musicals in high school. she played Mrs. Webb in Our Town, Linus in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Rat in The Wind in the Willows, and Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She assistant directed five productions, including Miss Nelson is MissingThe Little Mermaid, And a Child Shall Lead, Charming, and Gran's Guide to Defeat an Ogre and performed in What We're Up AgainstThe Bicentennial Project and These Shining Lives at Kent State Stark. Recently she served as crew for Silent Sky.

Layla O'Neal: Crew

David Sponhour: Crew
David has been active in theater for over 30 years. He has performed on many local stages, and acted at Kent State Stark in Cat’s PawBuried ChildOne Slight Hitch and These Shining Lives, where he is a full time theatre student. David served as assistant director for Voices from Hurt Street, sound design assistant for The Maiden's Prayer and The Bicentennial Project, and crew for What We're Up Against, Spring Awakening, Blur and Almost, Maine and Silent Sky. He is also a founding member of “Scared Scriptless," Canton’s premiere professional Improv troupe. Some of his favorite past performances include Crumpet in Santaland Diaries, Comet in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Jerry in Zoo Story, and Hal in Proof starring All My Children’s David Canary. He spends what little free time he has with his wonderful, spectacular, and supportive wife, Christine.