Next to Normal
nytheatre.com q&a preview by David Norwood
October 14, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I attended Oakland School for the Arts for high school and also studied at Point Park University and The Ailey School.
What was the last show you saw that really excited you, and why?
The last show that really excited me was "The Scottsboro Boys". I know it was back in 2010, but that musical til this day, is the most brilliantly staged and composed musical that I have ever seen (who would have ever thought to use a minstrel show as a form of theatre storytelling?!) The production was so simple, yet it packed such a punch and told a story that needed and still needs to be told about injustice and racism in our country. It makes me sad to know that so many people didn't get a chance to see the show because it closed so quickly.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
Many people coin "Next to Normal" as the Alice Ripley show about bi-polar disorder, but in this new production of the show I've chosen to focus the piece on the entire family and how they are all in denial of the truth and coping with it in different ways. I want audiences to leave "Next to Normal" asking is there a such thing as "normal" or is it something that we as people in a media driven society have created?
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are my mother, who sacrificed so much to make sure my siblings and I we're supported and had everything we needed while growing up. My other hero is theater director and producer, Hal Prince. He is such an inspiration to me because of the many artistic risks that he took in theater. He not only knew how to entertain an audience, but at the same time he created thought-provoking theater that got people talking about a ton of interesting topics that ranged from marriage to antisemitism and many other powerful subjects.