How do we define “normal?” We watch a typical American family in Next to Normal, as they struggle with bipolar disorder, depression, and making it through the day. In all the chaos, grief of a lost child comes back to haunt the family, manifested into the hallucination we see as Gabe. However, this family has wants and needs like you and I. Diana has love for her children and wants to find peace of mind. Dan struggles to help his wife and hold his family together. Natalie wants affection and finds love where she least expects it. We see a family, lost in the dark and stuck in the past. They hang on to the idea that someday, everything will get better. Hope for Diana to be cured, hope for their family to get back together, and hope to be normal. They learn that normal will never be possible, but they can live “next to normal.” They sing, “knowing that the darkest skies will someday see the sun.” When faced with mental illness, sometimes the best option is to focus on the now. Life opens many doors, and we have to keep walking through them until we find the light. 

  

 

Feel free to explore this website to learn more about Next to Normal

If you have any questions, please contact the dramaturge through the Dramaturgy Contact page.