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.

Melancholy Play was first produced in 2002 at the Piven Theatre in Evanston, IL, directed by Jessica Thebus, with music by Greg Hirte. It was later adapted into a chamber musical version, which was produced in 2012 by 13P with True Love Productions, directed by Davis McCallum.

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FRANK, a tailor

TILLY, a bank teller

FRANCES, a hairdresser
JOAN, a British nurse


JULIAN, a cello player


TIME: the Present Moment

PLACE: Illinois



~Melancholy in this play is Bold, Outward, Sassy, Sexy, and Unashamed. It is not introverted. It uses, instead, the language of Jacobean direct address.

~However, be sensitive to the moments of delicacy, fragility, and sadness inside of the farce.

~Having said that, actors are encouraged to look out of the window often, climb in and out of windows, throw open balconies, throw themselves on couches.

~The pace is often faster than real time. Transitions should hurtle.

~Don’t be afraid of sincere melodrama.





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.


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