October 17 - 27, 2013 | Shirley Burke Theatre / Chapel Off Chapel

The ground–‐breaking, powerhouse rock musical, Next To Normal, debuts at Chapel Off Chapel later this month, challenging audiences with the question of “what is normal” and drawing attention to the increasingly common but rarely discussed topic of mental illness.

Next to Normal is the debut production by theatre company Pursued By Bear. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder, and how her family deals with her illness. The play explores themes of grief, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life.

Nominated for eleven Tony awards and winning a Pulitzer Prize for best musical, Next To Normal seeks to take mental illness outside of health textbooks and place it in a setting everyone can relate to - a suburban context. The show aims to raise awareness of mental illness while also examining what it means to be a family.

As the production is taking place during Mental Health Awareness Month, some of the proceeds will be donated to mental health foundations.

This new company’s debut production is, astonishingly, entirely as one with the show’s huge ask and its uncompromising subject matter... The rewards of their spectacular risk, ambition, passion and talent are ours to share. I unconditionally recommend that you do.
— Stage Whispers

Director: Mark Taylor  
Musical Director: Emma McGeorge

Stage Manager: Emma Bates / Natasha Milton
Choreography: Robbie Carmellotti

Diana: Emma Gordon-Smith
Dan: James Schaw
Gabe: Will Tucker
Natalie: Chelsea Hewson
Henry: Daniel Smorgon
Doctor: James Robertson