A New Year…Some New News!
We are so excited to announce that we will be presenting the Finger Lakes REGIONAL Premiere of this Pulitzer Prize Winning Play!
Next to Normal, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal was also chosen as “one of the year’s ten best shows” by critics around the country, including The Los AngelesTimes, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.
This deeply moving piece of theatre is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life and is ideal for opening a dialogue about the effects of pharmaceuticals and mental health.
We LOVE this article….
7 Reasons Why you Should Go to the Theater
By Meirav Zur
“Theater is dead,” Someone told me a while ago. I wasn’t offended (despite my everyday life being in the theater world), but it did get me thinking. True, entertainment is now readily available at our fingertips (literally). “Entertainment” has evolved into something else altogether, with edited reality shows putting “regular” (non-actor) people in dramatic or apparently otherwise-intriguing situations, rather than storylines created by writers, directors, and actors. There are still some good reasons for people to go to the theater, and to keep it alive.
Why go to the theater?
1) MAGIC. This may be the top reason theater-goers will tell anyone as to why they go to the theater. When done well, a stage production can transport the audience into a different world, and this can create a special energy that you can actually FEEL (non-existent with either just the actors or just the audience). Those specific moments in that specific place in time will never be repeated, and that experience is very special. It’s magic.
2) IT’S LIVE. Compare seeing a picture of the Eiffel Tower to actually being there, seeing and feeling the enormity of that structure, or compare seeing video footage of Niagara Falls to actually being there, feeling the power of nature. Ok, I’m not comparing a play to Niagara Falls, but seeing actors on stage, live, moving and talking (sometimes singing and dancing) and becoming completely different characters in front of your eyes, that’s exciting. And if mistakes happen, well, that’s live theater! Yet another reminder that we’re all humans, and humans err. Things happen and good theater can incorporate any errors to make them work, going with the flow.
3) FRUIT OF LABOR. It’s really interesting to see a story told on stage, culminating what took weeks or months to create, a collaborative effort coming together [hopefully] effortlessly; characters, set, costumes, sound and lights, and of course the audience. The need for a coordinated effort is truly amazing. It’s thrilling to think that it was all created for that moment (even more thrilling when done with an original piece — something created out of nothing), and when it’s done well, that’s art, and it’s entertaining.
4) BRAIN WORK-OUT. Great theater can get you to think and/or feel something, jog a special memory, or figure something out.
First, emotional intelligence and creative thinking are instinctive human abilities. Just like our body’s muscles, these abilities must be exercised in order to keep them active and strong, and the performing arts can help develop these forms of intelligence. Emotional intelligence is essential to both personal and professional success.
Second, theater contributes to education and literacy. Watching characters on stage talk back and forth requires sharp attention, quick mental shifts, and agile language skills.
5) ECONOMY. When a theater is active, it attracts people, which can invigorate local cafes and shops or cause more to open, creating jobs, and can ideally bring attention to municipalities to improve surrounding infrastructure.
6) TOGETHER. A performance can bring together anywhere from tens to hundreds of people, experiencing and witnessing something that’s unique, moving, funny, or at least bringing about a bit of escapism. With everyone so used to being in front of a screen, this is truly an important reason.
7) FUTURE. Going to the theater, especially with children (obviously to child-appropriate productions), not only does all of the above, including bringing FAMILIES together, but also builds the foundation for the future of theater, for future playwrights, directors, actors, and other creative professionals, so that humanity can continue the beautiful cycle of culture. True, there are few parents who’d want their children to grow up to become [usually underpaid and overworked] struggling artists, but I did see this quote in a photo somewhere and liked it a lot: “EARTH without ART is just EH.” Performing arts, from mainstream “showbiz” Broadway shows to bold experimental theater, can engage, question, move, and make people happy.
So what now? Go. Go see a play or a musical, and take a friend. There are plenty available at your local municipal theater or in the larger repertoire and national theaters. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in the U.S., Meirav founded the professional English-language theater English On Stage in 2005, serving as actress, producer, artistic director (to name a few), and performing in theaters, schools, and communities across Israel.