When: November 12-21, 2010

Where: NEW STAGE Performing Arts Center, 55 North Street, Pittsfield, MA

Melancholy Play

About the play

“Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play mixed the absurdity of Pirandello and Fellini and the edgy prettiness of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Off-beat, lyrical and just a little bit nutty, it is a real charmer” Chicago Sun-Times

“A contemporary farce, Melancholy… is Bold, Outward, Sassy, Sexy and Unashamed.” TCG

Tilly (bank teller), Frances (hairdresser), Joan (nurse), Frank (tailor), Lorenzo (therapist), together with Julian (cellist), come together in this whimsical celebration of sadness. Tilly, an irresistibly melancholy young stranger, makes her sorrow so sexy that everyone in her life falls maddeningly in love with her. Tilly’s sudden joyful transformation results in a mystical and hilarious quest exploring the happiness of melancholy and the melancholy of happiness. A contemporary farce.

In keeping with WAM Theatre’s philanthropic mission, a portion of the proceeds from this production ($1500) was donated to the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, WAM Theatre’s first local beneficiary.


“…a delightfully funny new production…..the exceptional ensemble cast turns this magical fable of transformation into a memorable evening in the theater….”  Lesley Ann Beck from Berkshire Living Magazine

“…One of the outstanding theatre experiences of my life….you will NOT want to miss this show!…” Gail Burns from Gailsez.org

“…This new company has introduced itself to the community with a wacky world of comedy that makes as much sense as possible out of metamorphosis and nuts. Missing an opportunity to get involved with the melancholy world of this show is missing a chance at the best fun of your week….” J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus, Advocate Weekly – Link to Review

“WAM Theatre is one of the most interesting developments on the Berkshire entertainment scene in years…” Larry Murray, Berkshire On Stage – Link to Article

“…WAM’s mission tackles two injustices—not only the social, economic and political oppression of women around the world, but the scandalous lack of opportunity for women theater artists in the U.S., where a tiny percentage of professionally produced plays are written and/or directed by women… “, Chris Rohman, Valley Advocate – Link to Article

December 2, 2010-Featured in WAMC’s 51%-The Women’s Perspective – Link to Segment

November 15, 2010-Feature on WAMC’s Midday Magazine by Charlie Dietz, Berkshire Bureau Chief – Link to Segment

Audience Reaction

“It’s the kind of whimsical “over the top” humor based on truth,combined with a seasoning of music and dance that makes for a mind blowing experience.” – Linda Bidwell Delaney

“Thank you for producing a most fantastic play experience. My wife, Jeri, and I were just remarking yet again about the fight scene. We are both so glad we saw it both Friday night and again on Saturday night, when we were more rested. There was much we caught the second night, and in general, more fully appreciated jus…t how brilliantly witty the play is. The fight scene was just fantastic (I was ready to dive under my seat and then call 911). This play is great entertainment and deserves to be seen twice by all. I am simply in awe of what you all have accomplished.” – Steven Smith

“THOROUGHLY enjoyed the play Saturday night. Wow! how powerful, quirky, moving and inventive, never failing to keep our attention, and funny too. Powerful theater. I’ll tell everyone I can think of.” – Steve Dahlin

Tilly: Betsy Holt
Lorenzo: Per Janson*
Frances: Karen Lee
Frank: Todd Quick
Julian: Erika Helen Smith
Joan: Leigh Strimbeck

* = Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Playwright: Sarah Ruhl
Director: Kristen van Ginhoven
Assistant Director/Choreographer: Jamuna Yvette Sirker
Production Stage Manager/Props: Emily Curro
Musical Director: Erika Helen Smith
Scenic Designer: Juliana von Haubrich
Costume Designer: Yvonne Perry
Assistant Costume Designer: Elivia Bovenzy
Lighting Designer: Nick Webb
Sound Designers: Joe and Jan Jurchak
Composer: Michael Roth