Melancholy Play

by  Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3m, 3f

Tilly’s melancholy is of an exquisite quality. She turns her melancholy into a sexy thing, and every stranger she meets falls in love with her. One day, inexplicably, Tilly becomes happy, and wreaks havoc on the lives of her paramours...

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Melancholy Play

by  Sarah Ruhl

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Tilly’s melancholy is of an exquisite quality. She turns her melancholy into a sexy thing, and every stranger she meets falls in love with her. One day, inexplicably, Tilly becomes happy, and wreaks havoc on the lives of her paramours. Frances, Tilly’s hairdresser, becomes so melancholy that she turns into an almond. It is up to Tilly to get her back.
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Accolades

  • Sarah Ruhl is the 2003 recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama

Reviews



REVIEWS

"A rumination on love in relation to a kind of existential tristesse, a romantic sadness more embraced by Europeans than us think-positive Americans, 'Melancholy Play' bears the markings of a young dramatist, laying the groundwork for themes and effects she will revisit often...as her career continues." - Seattle Times

"...a gentle misery-loves-company fable of high wit" - Chicago On the Aisle

"
If you’ve never experienced Sarah Ruhl’s work before — or if you’ve wondered what all the fuss over the lauded American playwright is about — Melancholy Play is a good place to start. This early work...is whimsical, surrealistic, even absurdist somewhat in the mode of Eugene Ionesco. You worry that bad things happen to good people? Here really strange things happen to all people...Giddy as it is, Melancholy Play actually affords considerable psychological insight." - Dallas News

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Videos

  • Melancholy Play Trailer
  • Melancholy Play - Promo Trailer
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The present moment. Illinois. Many windows, a chaise, and several doors from which to enter and exit rapidly. A mirror. A potted palm. A chair. A few chandeliers. Or lamps. Perhaps a real balcony, opening into the night air.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

3m, 3f
FRANK - a tailor
TILLY - a bank teller
FRANCES - a hairdresser
JOAN - a British nurse
LORENZO THE UNFEELING - a psychiatrist
JULIAN - a cello player

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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been ...

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Melancholy Play was first produced at the Piven Theatre under the Artistic Direction of Joyce Piven, opening on June 28, 2002, in Evanston, IL, directed by Jessica Thebus, music by Greg Hirte.

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