Next To Normal: The Musical About Mental Illness

Jul 18, 2017


This year's Artown Festival features a prize-winning play about an unlikely topic. 

Next to Normal takes an unexpected look at how one family living in the suburbs is dealing with mental illness. It explore the story of a mother with two teenagers who is battling manic depression. L

Local director John Frederick says the play looks at how her condition impacts everyone around her while pushing stigma to the side.

“I think it can teach us that it’s OK to talk about. It’s OK to go out and find help. It’s not something where we need to hide our crazy Aunt Sally in the closet anymore,” says Frederick. "I think that people who suffer from these diseases, oftentimes, don’t realize how many people are out there that want to support them and help.”

The play has won three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score. Our host Danna O'Connor spoke with Frederick, who gave a preview of the show.