Melancholy Play

Written | Sarah Ruhl

Directed | Matthew Hunter

Scenic Design | Aren Carpenter

Produced | Davidson College Department of Theatre

From Samuel French

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.


The set contributes to this interactivity with the audience: windows fall from the sky, seemingly out of nowhere, and characters seem to be drawn to them, looking out into the audience as if we are the very culture that has led to their emotionally confused plight.

The highlight of the set, inspired by surrealist artist Rene Magritte, had to be the cloud of upturned furniture hanging above the stage. Impressively designed and engineered by Aren Carpenter ’18, the set gives the impression of an inverted home, a place in which convention is suspended in air. And yet, paradoxically, the space feels totally realistic– it sets the tone perfectly for Hunter’s direction.

The full review is available here.

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