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Depression: The Musical (A Depressed Girl’s Guide To Depression) is a darkly humorous pop-rock musical about falling apart and putting yourself back together.


Depression: The Musical was workshopped at The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) in 2014 and received a 4-star review in Time Out New York.


Based on the life experiences of the author, New York City singer/songwriter Marianne Pillsbury, the show tells the story of one woman’s journey to overcome depression, as narrated by the main character, backed by her 60s-girl-group-style Greek chorus also known as The Committee In Marianne’s Head.


The show has been created with the guidance and direction of award-winning actress and playwright, Gretchen Cryer (I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road). The late rhythm & blues singer/songwriter Jimmy Norman also provided invaluable input and inspiration in its development. 


Depression: The Musical presents the difficult subject of depression in a humorous and ultimately uplifting manner, offering an insider’s guide to the issues that thousands of people with clinical depression face every day.


Depression is often still a taboo subject, yet almost everyone has had experience with it. It’s a universally relatable topic that is both timely and timeless. The mission of “Depression: The Musical” is to present the subject of clinical depression in an entertaining way that inspires and gives hope to anyone affected by depression. 


The musical takes the audience through Marianne’s life, candidly showing her attempts to conquer depression with therapy, medication, alcohol abuse, and codependence, and the toll these attempts take on her relationships. The journey leads to Marianne discovering a way to live with depression by channeling her struggles into what she is most passionate about, songwriting.


The show has had two readings in 2013 at the PortFringe festival in Portland, Maine, and the Fresh Fruit LGBTQ Arts Festival reading series in New York, NY. It is also a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, which allows us to accept tax-deductible donations.


We are currently raising funds to record five song demos for the show. You can make tax-deductible contributions to this project through the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) here:



Maine native Marianne Pillsbury’s life changed the day she was cast in a community theater production of Annie at age 10. It seemed she was on the yellow brick road to musical theaterdom until she attended Brown University where she showed her first signs of rebellion by joining a rock band and writing her senior honors English thesis on “Pop Icon Prince’s Dual Obsession with Sexual Ecstasy & Religious Salvation.” 


In 2004, after escaping a lucrative but unfulfilling career as an advertising copywriter, she released her debut album, The Wrong Marianne, on her own indie label, Average White Girl Records. Produced by award-winning songwriter Bonnie Hayes (Bonnie Raitt's "Have A Heart"), the album received positive reviews from The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald and The San Francisco Chronicle and elicited comparisons to the best work of Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield and Jill Sobule.

The Wrong Marianne was named a Top 12 D.I.Y. Pick in Performing Songwriter Magazine. The song "Boo Hoo" from the album won Best Alt/Rock Song in The Great American Song Contest and was selected for inclusion on ROCKRGRL Magazine 's Discoveries compilation CD.

In 2007, Marianne started teaching songwriting workshops at the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, a non-profit music and mentoring program that empowers girls and women by encouraging them to explore self-expression through music.


For four and a half years, Marianne worked behind-the-scenes at the Jazz Foundation of America, helping elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis.

Her work with Willie Mae and the Jazz Foundation inspired her to start writing an autobiographical pop-rock musical, Depression: The Musical, which was selected as a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2008.

In her spare time, Marianne likes to eat, sleep, breathe and watch Arrested Development over and over and over.


Special thanks to the MAJOR SUPPORTERS of our FringeNYC 2014 production:

Noah Reynolds, Reynolds Lassiter, Barbara Millhouse, Martha Pillsbury, Donna Simms, Carol Barnett, Joseph Dyro, Katherine Menzia & Doug Shepherd, Cyrus Cramer, Kathyrn Goetzke, iFred (International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression), The Mood Factory, Tina Hastings, Joseph Petrucelli, Joel Edelman, Meghan Nathanson, Wendy G,

Margery Whiteman, Alina Moscovitz & Eric Shaw, Muriel & Terry Allen, Alison Mazer, Bernadette Aulestia, Gretchen Wiker, Flora Sanchez, Erica Slutsky, Annie Calder, Michele & Todd Carlstrom, Kevin Fallon, Shari Kessel Schneider, Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, Patty Thomma, Jeanne Giles, Vivian Brady-Phillips, Elizabeth Getter, Joy Sanjek, David, Halston Pinsky.


Thanks to everyone else who supported our 2014 RocketHub campaign: Rebbie Ratner, Jenn Sheehy Everett, Amanda Cramer, Deb Schuster Stupiello, Stephen Phelps, Gail Browne, Sarah Schiff, Kathy Ruiz, Bill Hoffman, Joey Cambareri, Frances Spangler, Nancy Ford, Ann Bartholomew, Jonathan Fox, Helena Gubelman, Rich Brest, Juliana Arnolds, Mike Higgins, Marilyn Kleinberg, Krista Hughes, Yulisa Cruz, M.D. Wolfe, Michael Portnoy,  Bronwyn Poole, Renee Fadiman, Pam Weis, Natalie Sandy, Heather Graham, Brian Nern, Sky Koltun, Kate Gerber Kennedy, Natalie Sandy, Swan Huntley, David Meanix, Jane Hoppen, Bridget Barbu, Faith Stern, Gwen Harris, D.M. & S.V. Shaffe.


Thanks to the many supporters who donated to the development of the project between 2008 and 2013: David & Martha Pillsbury, Joy Sanjek, Joseph Dyro, Joan Liman, Muriel & Terry Allen, Eric Shaw and Alina Moscovitz, Joseph Petrucelli, Eric Crouse, Kendra Arnold, Alison Mazer, Thomas Vilms, Tony Correa, Michele & Todd Carlstrom, Katherine Menzia, Steve O'Reilly, David Schwartz, Kirsten Major, Amanda Cramer, Joel Edelman, Michael Portnoy, Rachel Fox, Bernadette Aulestia, Gretchen Wiker, Amy Decker, E. Getter, Halston Pinsky, LaRonda Davis, Julian McCarron, Annie Calder, Dr. Padukone, Darius Pillsbury, Jennifer Sheehy Everett, Kevin Heatley, Rob Herrmann, Sarah Schiff, Michele Fox, Wendy Pereira, Steve Savage, Amy Tupper, Jeff Feld, Joey Cambareri, Sara Lolar, Neil Raphan, Tony Correa, Jeff & Joan Feld, Amy Tupper, Maddie Fix, Vanessa Maruskin, Danielle Berger, Beth Falcone, Nicholas Stern, Kirsten Major, Marquia Walton, Pam Weis, Jan Davidson, Christine Stevenson, Talie Melnyk, Nicole Pandolfo, Samantha Peller, Beth Roddy, Marilyn Ashton, Madeleine Fix-Hansen, Felice Rosser, Randy Stern, Scott Raposa, Sharyn Wolf, Natascha Bodemann, David Meanix, Amanda Philipson, Courtney Banfield, Christopher Young, Fran O'Neill, Neil Shah, Mary Ellen Callahan, Andrea Frierson.

Thanks also to the performers & musicians (past & present) who've lent their talents to developing the show over the past 6 years: Jay Griggs, Michael Thomas Murray, Vanessa Theus, Hayley Bridgewater, Hillary Maloney, Micah Young, J McCarron, Lily Maase, Jordyn Blakely, Stephany Mora, Amber Poythress, Marianne Solivan, Marilyn Kleinberg, Kate Bell, Michele Fox, Sarah Schiff, Alina Moscovitz, Danielle Bauman, Winter LaMon, Laura Vuksinich.


Make a tax-deductible donation to "Depression: 

The Musical" through New York Foundation for the Arts...

© 2013 by Average White Girl Publishing. All rights reserved. 

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