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Sweet Sorrow, Happiness Go Hand-in-Hand in New Theatre Production

Quick Facts

 The play is student-led and directed by theatre major Sydney Moore.
 Show times are 8 p.m. March 26-30. It is a cultural event.
 Tickets are $5 Tuesday-Thursday with Winthrop ID; $8 Friday-Saturday.

Melancholy Play
ROCK HILL, S.C. — When it came time to choose a show to direct this semester, Winthrop University theatre major Sydney Moore was so frustrated she was about to draw names out of a hat. But then she remembered a scene she had worked on as part of Assistant Professor of Theatre Laura Dougherty’s directing class, and inspiration struck.

The result of that inspiration is “Melancholy Play,” the student-led production from the Department of Theatre and Dance. The production opens at 8 p.m. March 26 in Johnson Studio Theatre. More show times are at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27-Saturday, March 30.

The play, written by Sarah Ruhl, tells the story of an Illinois town that is turned on its head when the beautiful yet sorrowful Tilly, played by Riley Ketcham, moves to town. Everyone can’t help but fall in love with Tilly, but when she falls in love with a man named Frank, played by Brandon Byron, the town is thrown into chaos. As Tilly grows happier, the people of the town grow sadder.

“The quirky, farcical way it examines emotion really caught my attention and I knew it was the piece I wanted to propose,” said director Moore. “It was kind of like it was just waiting for me the entire time; it was too perfect. It's just a really neat look at how we qualify the emotions of others to suit our own needs.”

Moore said the characters are like caricatures and mock classic film characters and has a little bit of everything.

“Romance, comedy, intrigue, long-lost Scandinavian twins, scattered musical numbers, magical name it, ‘Melancholy Play’ has it,” she said. “I'll admit, it's a weird show, but it's an honest, charming, funny, wonderful weird that you just have to see to understand.”

Other students acting in the production are: Cecily Bigham as Frances; Loren Mixon as Joan; Ryan Carter as Lorenzo; and Leah Smith as Julian.

Tickets are $5 Tuesday-Thursday with a Winthrop ID and $10 to the public. Tickets are $8 Friday and Saturday and $15 to the public. All tickets are general admission. It is a cultural event.

For more information or to purchase tickets call the box office at 803/323-4014 or e-mail them at

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