November 2, 2018

Purdue Theatre addresses mental health, grief in rock musical ‘Next to Normal’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Theatre will present “Next to Normal,” winner of the 2009 Tony Award for best musical and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for best drama. Written by Bryan Yorkey with music by Tom Kitt, this Broadway hit takes a look into mental health and grief.

The production follows a mother, whose worsening bipolar disorder begins affecting the rest of her family. Set to a rock libretto, the contemporary musical addresses drug abuse, loss, suicide, the ethics of psychiatry and suburban life.

Kristine Holtvedt, an associate professor and head of Purdue’s graduate acting program, directs the University’s adaptation, with musical directing from Jaime Soojin Cohen. Carly Christensen, Wyndham Maxwell, Erica Colarusso, Kaiden Pilkenton, Matt Duncan and Mason McLary perform in this intimate show.

The production will run from Nov. 9-18 in the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts. Tickets are $14.50 for students, $17.50 for seniors and $21.50 for general admission. Visitors can purchase tickets online at Tickets are also available at Loeb Playhouse Box Office or Pao Box Office or by calling 765-494-3933.

About Purdue Theatre

Purdue Theatre faculty and staff are professional artists and technicians who work at major theatrical venues throughout the nation and the world. They share their experience in the classroom, on the stage, and one-on-one to prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry.

Purdue Theatre is housed in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts, where students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

In addition to "Next to Normal," upcoming shows include "Two Gentlemen of Verona" by William Shakespeare (Feb. 15-24) and "She Kills Monsters" by Qui Nguyen (April 12-20). 

Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541,  

Source: Kati Pratt, 765-496-7276,

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