Next To Normal
April 24, 2012 - June 3, 2012
By Brian Yorkey (Books/Lyrics) & Tom Kitt (Music)
Directed By Jon Kretzu

So what is it that defines “crazy” anyway?

Called a groundbreaking, powerhouse rock musical, Next to Normal, is a heart-swelling, searingly painful dissection of a mother’s mental illness and her suburban family trying to hold it all together. This multiple award-winning smash hit is a brave, powerfully emotional musical that takes on new territory with mix of raw energy and grace. “Like all good musicals, it breaks your heart without crushing your hope" says reviewer Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times. Next to Normal was nominated for 11 and won three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Susannah Mars plays the lead in this West Coast regional theater premiere.


Diana   Susannah Mars*
Dan William Wadhams* 
Gabe  John Debkowski*
Natalie       Meghan McCandless+  
Henry Todd Tschida
The Doctors    Jared Q. Miller*





Conductor/Keyboard   Eric Little 
Bass Sean Vinson
Percussion     Ben Wasson  
Guitar Eric Toner
Cello Dale Tolliver







Set Designer  Jeff Seats
Music Director Rick Lewis
Music Supervisor
Eric Little
Lighting Designer  Jeff Forbes
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Costume Designer Nancy Hills
Props Designer Kate Mura
Stage Manager Tozzi McDowell & Bryan Burch* 
Production Assistant    Echo Brooks







*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
+ Actors Equity candidate


Complete with bios, Director's Notes and an essay on contemporary musicals, check out the playbill for Next To Normal here.

Check out photos from the production here.

Artslandia was at Opening Night getting reactions from audience members, see the video here!


Author & Lyricist
Brian received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score, for Next to Normal. He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Next to Normal, and his work on the show earned him the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Score. Theatre credits include Making Tracks, which has played Off-Broadway and regionally, the musical adaptation of Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, and the new country musical Play It By Heart. Film and TV include the features Time After Time, in development at Universal with Marc Platt, and Sluts for Lionsgate and Furst Films; he is currently writing Love Undercover for Pandemonium Films and Overture, and Chase for Anonymous Content and Rosenzweig Films, and he co-created Bears, a new series for the Logo network. He has directed Off-Broadway and regionally, and for seven years was associate artistic director at Village Theatre in Washington, one of the nation’s leading producers of new musicals. He’s a graduate of Columbia University, where he was Artistic Director of the Varsity Show, an alum of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA. 

Tom received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as two Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestrations (with Michael Starobin), for Next to Normal. His music for Next to Normal also received the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for dramatic composition and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Score. Tom is responsible for the music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations for Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway and was also the string arranger on their most recent album, 21st Century Breakdown. He composed the music for High Fidelity (Broadway) and From Up Here (MTC), and his original songs have been featured in film and TV. He recently created new orchestrations for the CTG/DeafWest production of Pippin. As a musical director, conductor and arranger (Broadway and Off-Broadway), shows include 13, Hair, Laugh Whore, Urban Cowboy and Debbie Does Dallas. This Spring, Tom will be the musical supervisor/arranger/orchestrator for Everyday Rapture at Second Stage. He is the proud leader of The Tom Kitt Band. 

Alder Stage
Dates: April 24 - June 3
Performances: Wednesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2:00pm

* TUESDAY PERFORMANCES ADDED - May 8, 15, 22, 29 at 7:30pm*
Wednesday matinee – May 16 at 11am
Opening Night - Friday, April 27
“First Preview ‘Pay What You Can’" – April 24 presented by U.S. Bancorp Foundation


Fresh from recording their new album at KINK's Bing Lounge, local band Leaves Russell will rock the Artists Rep lobby for Opening Night of Next To Normal on Friday, April 27.

Learn more here:

U.S. Bancorp Foundation's First Preview Pay What You Can 
Thanks to the generous support of U.S. Bancorp, Artists Rep now offers a PWYC night for the first preview performance, on Tuesdays, for every play. No reservations, at the door only.  

May 9-13 is NAMI Week at Artists Rep
Call the Box Office, mention “NAMI,” and $5 of each ticket will go to the Multnomah chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. These tireless advocates and educators will be on hand all week to give us insight into living with mental illness and where we can go for help.                


Psul G Allen Fanily FOundation 

Ronni Lacroute
Charlie & Darci Swindells 
The Wrather Family Foundation


The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation

 Ater Wynne


The Reviews...

"Susannah Mars anchors the cast (paradoxically) as a woman unmoored, giving the lead role both unimpeachable vocal precision and emotional commitment," said Marty Hughley in The Oregonian. Read the full review here

Barry Johnson gives big props to Susannah Mars, as well as the cast, Music Director Rick Lewis and Director Jon Kretzu in his "Weekend Wrap" for OPB. Read it here

"I think the play is a masterpiece," said Next to Normal director Jon Kretzu in an interview with Marty Hughley of The Oregonian. Read more of this interview here.  

"A brave, breathtaking musical." - The New York Times

"The future of American musicals." - Washington Post

"Rock is alive and rolling like thunder in Next To Normal. The best musical of the season by a mile."
- Rolling Stone


Tickets for Artists Rep's 2014/15 season are on sale now! Click on the link below to purchase or call our Box Office at 503.241.1278.