Melancholy Play: a chamber musical

by  Sarah Ruhl, Todd Almond

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

In this chamber musical version of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play, 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...

Note on Digital Perusal: Samuel French's new digital perusal process grants easy, digital access to music perusals while protecting the intellectual property of our composers, book writers, and lyricists. Samuel French perusals are intended to be used for finding the perfect show to fit your theater, casting pool, and resources. Perusals should be used to get acquainted with the music and script. They cannot be used to hold auditions, produce the show without a license, or find sheet music for a separate performance.

Read more +

Melancholy Play: a chamber musical

by  Sarah Ruhl Todd Almond

License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway

Additional Info

In this chamber musical version of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play, 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.
Read more +

Accolades

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

Reviews




REVIEWS

”...could turn out to be quite a central pillar of the Ruhl canon… an extensive score from (Todd) Almond that, formatively at least, puts you in mind of some Stephen Sondheim chamber musical like "Passion," or maybe something by William Finn… the addition of music feels very organic to the work... you'd have no idea that was not the plan all along. The music adds to the considerable sensuality, and the notable wit, of the piece. This is a classy show [at Piven], with a sparse elegance.” - Chicago Tribune

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER

The Simple Path of MELANCHOLY PLAY
by Todd Almond
May 29, 2015

Videos

  • Melancholy Play, Arbor Cafe trailer
More videos +

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Illinois. The present moment. 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.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Difficult
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Song Samples

Tilly
0:00
Frances Explains to Joan about Her affair with Tilly
0:00
Beauty Shop
0:00
Frank and Tilly Make Love
0:00
I'm Happy Now
0:00
Tilly's Aria
0:00

Casting

3m, 3f
FRANK - a tailor
TILLY - a bank teller
FRANCES - a hairdresser
JOAN - a British nurse
LORENZO THE UNFEELING - a psychiatrist
JULIAN - a musician
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

in addition to Matthew, the pianist, there is ideally a string quartet.

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

6 Piano/Conductor Scores

Violin I
Violin II
Viola
Cello

More

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 ...

View full profile

Todd Almond

Todd Almond is a composer, lyricist, and playwright. For The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park, he wrote the music and lyrics for the Public Works production of The Tempest at the Delacorte Theater (a production in which he also starred as Ariel). His musicals include Girlfriend (Berkeley Rep., and Actors Theatre ...

View full profile
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. Melacholy Play: a chamber musical was first produced by 13P at the Invisible Dog, in Brooklyn, directed by Davis McCallum.

Now Playing

Community Experiences