Clinically Un-Depressed is a two-act dramatic comedy where Cole Black, a boy with a chemical imbalance that renders him unable to be sad or angry, changes everyone around him. The story is told from the perspective of a Vietnam veteran, Millard Anderson, who is the grumpy old man of the neighborhood. His main pleasure in life is yelling at kids from his front porch. Most kids run, but Cole sticks around, starts talking to him, and transforms Millard’s miserable life into something wonderful. Cole’s father, Blake Black, a high-strung lawyer, is psychologically abusive to his wife and Cole. But, to Cole, his father is a source of fascination as he tries to understand the emotions which are a mystery to him. Because Cole responds differently, people have to respond to him differently. The school bully becomes his best friend, the uppity girl becomes his girlfriend, he becomes his boss’s go-to person for how to run a business and other lives are changed.
The script is available in a number of places:
If you would like rights to perform the play, please reach out through the contact form or email sales @ willholcombauthor.com.
Run time ~ 2 hours
Number of Characters: 16 [8-11 m, 5-8 f, 1 optional character, 10 possible double cast]
Everyone. The show is G or PG at most. But don’t let that stop you. It seems many people think for a show to be entertaining or ‘cutting edge’ it needs profanity, sexuality, violence. Clinically Un-Depressed has none of that but still leaves audience members of all ages, all types, talking and coming back with friends and family. It is a powerful show.
There are three main areas, Millard’s front porch, Black’s kitchen, and the Restaurant. The other scenes can be played downstage with lighting and minimal set.
- Millard’s front porch – This is the front of his house with a chair for him to set.
- Black’s Kitchen – Typical American kitchen/dinning room.
- Restaurant – A counter where orders are taken, menu sign, etc
- School yard – Can be played in open areas with no set
- Hospital Waiting room – Can be played with chairs downstage
- Lawyers office – Table and chairs downstage
- Master’s house – Table and chairs downstage
- Dark Alley – Can be played in open areas with no set
- Heaven – There are a number of ways to do this. If there is a raised area available, it can be played there with a fog machine for clouds. If not, blue lights and fog work on the existing set.
Bastrop Opera House March 11-27 2022
Bastrop Opera House is bringing Clinically Un-Depressed back for its second run. At the last show of the first run, the executive director asked the sold-out audience how many people had already seen the show. Over half the audience raised their hands. Some had seen it five times! This is a show that entertains and resonates with people. It is an important show for our current world.
Streaming of the live show will be available for some of the shows. Tickets are available for both the live show and streaming at Bastrop Opera House’s website.
More to come!
A common reaction we get after a Clinically Un-Depressed show is something like, “This needs to be in New York”, “This needs to be a movie”, or a variation of that. People simply love the show and the message of the show. In our time of increased agitation and anger, Clinically Un-Depressed lets us all know, we have a choice about how we live our lives and how we respond to others. What is remarkable is the show delivers that message without ever preaching. The audience is thoroughly entertained the whole time. This is why Indra’s Awarehouse brought the show to Austin and we are in talks with other theatres to get it in their lineup next season. This show creates a buzz and gets people talking. We are just getting started, there is a lot more to come.
Bastrop Opera House – August 10-25 2018
The historic Bastrop Opera House closed its season with Clinically Un-Depressed and it was the highest-grossing show of the season. At the last show, the Executive Director asked how many people had seen the show before and over half of the audience raised their hands. Some had seen it five times. The greatest compliment of a show is people returning and bringing more people. One gentleman brought six people for this third viewing of the show. This was a great three-week run with standing ovations every show.
Indra’s Awarehouse – September 2017 Austin, Texas
Indra’s Awarehouse is a fabulous space for all sorts of performing arts activities. Randi Southard saw the show in Smithville and said everyone needs to see it. With that in mind, she generously offered her place as the first Austin venue for Clinically Un-Depressed. This was a Playhouse Smithville production with most of the original cast.
Playhouse Smithville – June 2017 Smithville, Texas
June 2017 ended Playhouse Smithville’s seventh season, with Clinically Un-Depressed closing the season. Of the 84 productions performed over those seven years, Clinically Un-Depressed was the only show ever repeated. People wanted it back. Ninety percent of the original cast was back and very excited to transform themselves into the roles they grew to love two years before.
Lyric Theater – June 2017 Flatonia, Texas
The Lyric Theater sat empty for almost fifty years. It was exciting to bring the show there and be part of its rebirth. We did two shows to laughs, tears, and standing ovations.
Playhouse Smithville – June 2015 Smithville, Texas
This was an amazing time. The owner of Playhouse Smithville, john daniels, jr., read the first draft of my script and said he wanted to do it. We started rehearsals three weeks before the show started. That poor cast had a new script every night up until the end. As I watched john and the cast work magic with my words, I was able to rewrite the initial draft to become a play that left people stunned. Of the five shows, we sold out four of them and the cast took bows to standing ovations every night.