Syracuse Stage is seeking talented local youth actors to audition for the role of Ivanka in its upcoming production of “Once,” directed by Melissa Crespo. Auditioners should note that the production schedule for “Once” includes morning student matinees in addition to…
Department Of Drama Presents ‘Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical’
Who says sadness isn’t fun? Certainly not award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl.
The Department of Drama closes its 2022/2023 season with Ruhl’s “Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical,” directed by Daniella Caggiano, April 28 through May 7. Performances will be held in the Storch Theater at the Syracuse Stage/Syracuse University Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St. Tickets are available through the Syracuse Stage Box Office at www.syracusestage.org/drama or by phone at 315.443.3275.
In the absurd, sensual and heartfelt play, Ruhl endows melancholy with aphrodisiac power in the person of Tilly, a bank teller whose lingering sadness attracts everyone around her. So acute is the attraction that when Tilly suddenly finds happiness, she throws the others into despair. With characteristic whimsy and nuanced seriousness, Ruhl considers the many different ways to find joy and how sadness is a necessary component of happiness.
The play’s lyrical nature and musicality underscore the depth of feeling and the ways those feelings can create ripples—“Melancholy is looking out of an open window full of longing. Depressed is behind a thick pane of glass,” wrote Ruhl.
Director Caggiano explores the tensions between the play’s absurdity and serious undertones. This version of the piece is set in 2002, a time when mental health was a subversive subject, doomed to be tucked under beds and shut behind closed doors.
“Our show emphasizes how important community is, to have a community that cares, for a space to have community with other people,” says Caggiano. This atmosphere of community permeates the rehearsal room which emphasizes equal collaboration and fun. “It’s called a play, if we’re not having fun, what are we doing.”