10 Days to Happiness Opens to Rave Reviews!

Opening night of 10 Days to Happiness

“Dhamma Rae” Davidson meditates as the opening night audience fills the seats.

Award-winning playwrite and actor Donna Rae Davidson’s new play debuted to a standing-room-only audience Friday, October 4th at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center. Earning standing ovations both Friday and Saturday evening, 10 Days to Happiness proved that it could make audiences happy in less than two hours!

“10 Days to Happiness: A One-Woman Play that Offers Laughs”

The first “official” press review came from Peggy Sturdivant of The Ballard-News Tribune. A positive, even enthusiastic review, she describes dragging her “tired self” to Amazing Grace on opening evening reluctantly, to end up feeling very glad that she had gone and had found herself “so entertained, and perhaps even enlightened, without leaving Ballard, because I could see a heck of a lot of Donna Rae Davidson in myself.”

Furthermore, the reviewer says, “Davidson plays a version of herself, one who thought a ten-day silent retreat off in nature would be a way to assess a life that seems to be a mess. She claims that she had somehow missed the fine print with regard to meditating for ten-and-a-half hours per day. For ten days. She does the math.

“The play is truly funny. Her character is engaging and she manages to make her self-reflection believable and ultimately rewarding. The use of images on the wall helps make the performance more dimensional than a one-woman play would imply. This is a far from silent evening.”

You’ll find the whole review at The Ballard-News Tribune.

What people are saying about 10 Days to Happiness:

“Eat, Pray, Love move over!”
Darcy Danielson, theater artist, musician

“Donna Rae, stellar playwright, has done it again! Bravo!!”
– Jane Bakken, musician

“It’s AWESOME. I laughed…..and laughed……and laughed….A LOT!!! It’s wonderfully directed by Therese Diekhans and features the music of James Howard. The lovely Marji Friedmann also appears in it. If you’ve ever done, or considered doing, or never even heard of a ten day Vipassana Meditation, this is a piece for you to see. Really. Trust me.”
– Kenny Telesco, Playback Theatre

“LOVED the show! I could so identify, both with the struggle and the breakthroughs. All the actors were stellar, and Donna Rae is one funny woman!”
– Kate Phillips, musician and writer

“You, my dear, finally get a chance to show the full force of your amazing talents. You are a gifted writer and performer and this may be the best thing you’ve ever done. I want everyone in the world to see this. It’s such a great piece. Of course, as a metaphysician, it was particularly funny and “right on” for me. However, the humanity of it, the absolute willingness to tell the truth (no matter how raunchy/absurd/mean spirited/insecure/scary/immature/etc it may be), make it universal and completely accessible for everyone. Who among us hasn’t had these kinds of thoughts and reactions? You speak for all of us. It is the bravest performance I’ve seen in many a year. It reminds me of why I love you and your work so much.”
– Rochelle Flynn, Burien Actor’s Theatre

“10 Days to Happiness does for Buddhism what Late Night Catechism did for Catholicism.”
– Eric O’Del, minister, choir director, theatre artist

“Wonderfully funny!! The ‘green’ lady has struck again with another hit play! It’s wonderfully funny and also has its serious side . . . it reminds us of those thoughts and feelings that many of us have but few of us are willing to admit. And, of course, that life is about finding . . . happiness.”
– Shirl Steward, artist and writer

“Donna Rae successfully conveyed to the audience the mental and physical challenges of her extraordinary meditation retreat. I felt I was right there with her throughout the journey… I related to the boredom of long meditations, almost panicky anxiety, inability to calm her mind, constant watch checking and especially the physical discomfort of trying to keep her body still while focusing on her breathing.

“Then, when she began to learn how to work the system and get around the rules without actually breaking them, the last few scenes breezed by and I was laughing out loud. The backdrop slideshow was also very effective.

“I thought she nailed the whole experience with her own quirky, humorous perspective. The fact that the first few scenes were uncomfortable for me and seemed overly long probably speaks to my own inability to find peace in silence and stillness.

“Maybe I’ll give meditation another try…”
– Carol Lebing


“Fabulous show… a huge audience pleaser. It’s one woman show (with 3 mostly silent assistants) by Donna Rae Davidson, who has previously won best of fringe for one of her first solo shows. It’s hilarious, it’s touching, and it’s performed excellently. Go see it, it’s fab! (bonus that it also boasts the splendid Therese Diekhans as director). It plays weekends through Oct.”

– Leanne Clark

“I lost two pounds laughing!”
– Sandi Schmidt, musician

Donna Rae and Diane Lavin

Donna Rae celebrates opening night with Diane Lavin, her real-life Vipassana manager (portrayed by an actor in the play.)

10 Days to Happiness is BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, opening Thursday, February 20th and playing Fridays and Saturdays through March 15. Performances will be held at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center in Ballard, located at 2007 NW 61st St. Seattle, WA 98107 (the corner of 20th NW and NW 61st).

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