Not Always Happy is also a storytelling performance

Based on her book, NOT ALWAYS HAPPY,  this choose-your-own-adventure-style, live storytelling performance features a baker's dozen of funny, touching, and subversive true-life tales about finding and raising the mighty Thorin that will definitely make you laugh and most likely change how you think about people with Down syndrome. Written and performed by Kari Wagner-Peck  and director Bess Welden. 60 minutes.

Not Always Happy: Winner of the 2017 “PortFringe Pulitzer Award” for excellence in writing.

To learn more about the production or to book a performance email:

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“...she provides the ultimate gift of any storyteller: a testimony to our shared humanity that derives from one person’s peculiar journey.”
Daphne Howland, Portland Press Herald, 2017

”Not Always Happy is intimate, emotional, tender, funny, touching storytelling…not to mention the brilliant writing and expert storytelling of the performer, creates a close and tender experience that is sure to give you goosebumps.”
— Mackenzie Mae, PortFringe '17, First Look Review

Promotional video: 

Production History


  • Portland Stage, Studio Series, underwritten by Michael Thorne and AskInside, LLC
  • Received grant support from the Maine Arts Commission, 2015, 2016