top of page


Glückskind made its United States debut as part of United Solo's 2024 Spring Festival. The title translates to 'lucky child,' a phrase commonly used in German fairytales. Melike Yagiz-Baxant spoke the piece entirely in German, with subtitles projected in English on the back wall of the theater. 

Yagiz-Baxant tells an autobiographical narrative using the adage "All the world's a stage" to formulate a story about the inherent theater of life, stating that "you never know when a play is about to begin." Her character's early life is marked by such "plays" watching adults struggle with money and addiction, and her mother's unpredictable behavior with her screaming at her one day and fainting on the couch the next. Yagiz-Baxant brings both the curiosity of a child and the zeal of the theater kid, expressing her excitement at finally getting to "speak a line" in one of the family "plays" and partake in the eternally unfolding drama. 

True to this thesis, Yagiz-Baxant uses the full space for the performance. From entering down the theater aisle and throwing a rope of tethered clothing back into the theater (which caught in the air beautifully) to staging a waitressing job scene as she crosses up and down the steps, on and off the stage, each moment feels deliberately used to its full potential. A few music and dance sequences in the performances serve as ambient time to process the previous scene before entering into the next. Yagiz-Baxant's character is fascinated by the idea of happiness and success, which the people around her treat as a fleeting, insubstantial thing. Ever fascinated by the theater of life, she seeks this happiness by entering the theater as a profession. Her scenes of acting training, auditions, and receiving criticism after performances reflect on the often absurd nature of pursuing the arts, the stark juxtaposition of youthful hope interacting with jaded apathy, and trying to deliver on what people expect of you instead of what you want yourself to be.

The show is well-written and precise in what it shows and asks its audience. When Yagiz-Baxant tells us the characters scream at her, she doesn't yell but speaks in a strained voice that is implied to be loud. Later in the play, Yagiz-Baxant meets a successful actress who tells her she "screams too much" showing that in developing this performance, Yagiz-Baxant had applied that note to demonstrate the character's commitment to living up to others' standards. Eventually, she gets to develop a play with a well-known artist who wants to work with her to satisfy their ideas, not hers. At last, she refuses and decides to create her own play.  At the close of the performance, Yagiz-Baxant asks the audience: "Are you happy, or is it too late?" This theme of fulfillment, of contentment with oneself, comes full circle for its final moment. 


The performance's tone is barebones, chilling, European arthouse, stark in its presentation. Glückskind is exceptionally well devised, clear in intent and execution, and leaves the audience to contemplate the absurdism in their own lives.


Written and Performed by Melike Yagiz-Baxant

April 25, 2024

The 16th United Solo Festival

March 4 – April 28, 2024

Theatre Row

410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)


Rita Frances Welch is… Wait, who’s asking? There are a few answers depending on the context. Rita is A) A New York playwright, actor, and director, B) The owner of 5 discrete copies of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, C) A force of nature, controlled by the tides and called to by the wind, disappearing and returning like the seasons. More material than their author, Rita’s plays have been produced by The Tank, Theatre X, Playwrights Performance, and Rogue Theatre Festival. They hold a B.F.A. in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory, during which they studied under LAByrinth Theater’s Martha Wollner and Padraic Lillis. Rita’s writing functions as an experiment- a combination of characters in the petri dish of their world, their personal challenges and delusions in a vacuum, isolating for every variable but one: Human nature, which reveals itself every time.



Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page