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Bittersweet Lullaby

Book by Will Lacker, Music & Lyrics by Dylan Glatthorn

Two struggling songwriters live in the same apartment decades apart. In one magical night, their voices connect through time and they begin a collaboration that leaves them forever changed.

Magical Realism


Cast Size

1m, 1f


10 Mins Approx.


A NYC small apartment, Simultaneously 1957 and present day


Mild Language


Fantasy, Science Fiction, Period, Mystery


Theatre/Entertainment Industry, Writing & Composing, Friendship, Parenting/Family

Target Audience

Appropriate for all audiences


Classic/Standard Musical Theatre



Additional Resources

Accompaniment Tracks


Moving boxes are scattered around a cramped New York City apartment. A songwriter (Man) sits at a piano desperately, yet fruitlessly, trying to write the opening of a song “BOUNCY OPENING”. A second songwriter (Woman) enters talking on a cellphone. While Woman begins to unpack the moving boxes, Man continues experimenting at the piano; neither one sees the other.

Becoming frustrated by his writer’s block, Man begins pacing around the room. Woman,, intrigued by the piano, sits down and begins experimenting with a few chords. Without realizing it, they serendipitously begin to compose the beginnings of a song. 

Suddenly, an argument from the upstairs neighbor interrupts the mysterious moment. Man and Woman both retaliate by making as much noise as they can. The neighbors end their argument and Man and Woman return to composing their song “The DUET DEVELOPS”. As the song continues to take shape, they realize something strange is happening: they are not alone. Woman, a new resident of the apartment living in present day, is composing this song with Man, a resident of the apartment living in 1954.

Pushing through their fear and hesitation—still unable to fully grasp what is happening to them—Man and Woman both lose themselves to the moment and sing their newly completed song together “BITTERSWEET LULLABY”. Their voices connect through time and for a brief moment, Man and Woman,, can see each other.

The song ends and the two songwriters return to their separate timelines. Both writers struggle to understand what just happened but are overcome with excitement from composing a new song. Man grabs his hat and exits out the door while Woman searches for a piece of paper to write the song onto. Her search takes her to the old piano bench where she finds the sheet music for “Bittersweet Lullaby” dated 1954. As she stares in wonderment and bafflement at the sheet music, beginning to take in what’s just taken place, her cell phone rings and she answers the call.

Bittersweet Lullaby is a musical sequence that also functions as one song.


Casting Information

  • MAN: Aspiring composer/lyricist living in the 1950’s.

  • WOMAN: Aspiring composer/lyricist living in present day.


00:00 / 00:00
00:00 / 00:00
00:00 / 00:00
00:00 / 00:00
Casting & Songs



Production History

Theatre Now's SOUND BITES 6.0 Musical Festival (2019)​

  • Venue: Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center (NYC)

  • Festival Awards: Best Book, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress


The Players Theatre Short Play Festival (2019)​

  • Venue: The Players Theatre (NYC)

  • Festival Awards: Best Play

Author Bios

Illustrated Mountains

WILL LACKER is a New York City based playwright originally from St. Petersburg, Florida. Original Works: Bittersweet Lullaby, Catch the Westbound, Edison, The Invasion, Chupacabra, The Custodian, Republic, and Trials of a Scientific Mind. His works have been produced at The Player’s Theatre, Merkin Concert Hall, The Flea, NYC Fringe, Gene Frankel Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Woodstock Fringe, Alexandra Film Festival, and Gen Con Film Festival. Will earned a BA from Marymount Manhattan, an MFA from Queens College, and is a graduate of the UCB improv school. Member: Dramatists Guild. Honors and Awards: Best Book, Best Director: SOUND BITES 6.0, Best One Act: Central PA Theater Fest, Players Theatre Short Play Festival, Manhattan Repertory One Act Fest.

Illustrated Mountains

DYLAN GLATTHORN is a Brooklyn based composer & lyricist. His music has been described by the New York Times as “assured” with the “steaminess and drive of Janacek” and the “harmonic allure” of Debussy. Original musicals include: Edison, Republic, Bittersweet Lullaby, and The Way It Goes. Co-composer and arranger for Diana DeGarmo's album GEMINI. Music director/arranger for Alexa Green's So Good (released on Broadway Records, named “Best New Solo Recording of 2016” by He has written music for dozens of critically-acclaimed and award-winning films, as well as for world-renowned brands like Nickelodeon, Oakley, Alessi, Red Bull, and PBS. He is the recipient of the 2019 New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Sound Design, the Clive Davis Award for Excellence in Music in Film, Best Original Score at First Run Film Festival, and a two-time recipient of the Alan Menken Award. Dylan is a proud member of both ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Illustrated Mountains
Author's Bios
Production History
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