For a number of soldiers, there's something worse than being shot and killed in battle: surviving. Black bile. Shell shock. Post traumatic stress disorder. Melancholia. Young Mario and his best buddy enlist, infused with patriotism and the desire to do something useful and valuable with their lives. Mario returns home a shattered soul, with blood and guilt on his hands, burdened by the shock and trauma of war, as he descends into a spiral of violence, alcoholism, and clinical depression. Mario's delusions include two tattered clowns, Tar and Skittles, who try to help him figure it all out. Mario infects those around him with his torment, violence and drunkenness. His friends, family and loved ones respond by loving him and trying to get him help before it's too late. Will they be in time to save Mario and those he loves from disaster? Melancholia offers a unique look at mental and emotional damage inflicted on service men and women and their families after experiencing combat. The play explores the subject matter previously examined by such works as The Men and Jacob's Ladder from a specifically Latino cultural perspective. Under the direction of Jose Luis Valenzuela, Melancholia was developed by the Latino Theater Company Laboratory through a process of research, improvisation, and the exploration of new theatrical expressions. The play approaches the topic with drama, humor, music, dance, movement and a little Shakespeare.

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