Ruhl's play, which was written to be accompanied by a single cellist, was first seen in 2001. She was inspired to revisit the work after songwriter Almond (We Have Always Lived in the Castle, War and Peace) approached her with a new vision of Melancholy Play as a nearly-sung-through work.
A string quartet is now incorporated into this fresh version of Melancholy Play, which is staged by Davis McCallum (February House, Water By The Spoonful ) through July 27.
The cast features Drama Desk Award nominee David Greenspan (The Royal Family, A Midsummer Night's Dream), Erik Lochtefeld (Metamorphoses), April Matthis (On the Levee), Sarah Tolan-Mee (Stage Kiss) and Amy Warren (August: Osage County).
Here's how the new version of Melancholy Play is billed: "In the play, Tilly is beautiful and melancholy. Everyone she meets falls in love with her. Then one day she is suddenly happy—and things get very strange. An unexpected story of melancholy in a post-pharmaceutical world, Melancholy Play is an irrational play with a highly rational string quartet."
The production team includes set designer Jason Simms, costume designer Anita Yavich, sound designer Darron L. West and choreographer Danny Mefford. The Obie-winning playwrights collective 13P was conceived to offer playwrights the chance to produce their own fully staged productions as an alternative to the standard practice of developmental readings. Each playwright rotates as artistic director of the company during the dates of production for his or her respective play.
Ruhl (In the Next Room, Eurydice) is the final playwright in the collective to serve as artistic director and have her work staged. "It is quite wonderful to be in a process that puts the means of production squarely in the hands of the writer, and it gives me great compassion and gratitude for every artistic director I've ever worked with, as I call my daughter's violin teacher and ask if she'd play first violin, or as I scratch my head looking at curious and often intractably untransformational objects like calendars and budgets," Ruhl said in a statement.
The playwrights in 13P also include Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Madeleine George, Rob Handel, Ann Marie Healy, Julia Jarcho, Young Jean Lee, Winter Miller, Kate E. Ryan, Lucy Thurber, Anne Washburn and Gary Winter.
For tickets visit 13P.org, or phone (866) 811-4111. The Invisible Dog Art Center is located at 51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn.