Next to NormalMarch 9 - April 22, 2012
Music by Tom Kitt
Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Music Direction by Nicholas James Connell
Scenic Design by Eric Levenson**
Costume Design by Tyler Kinney
Lighting Design by Jeff Adelberg
Sound Design by Aaron Mack
Projection Design by Seaghan McKay**
Production Stage Managed by
Amy Louise Spaletta*
Featuring a compelling and surging pop rock score,Next to Normal shatters through the façade of a suburban family dealing with the direct and indirect effects of mental illness. Winner of 3 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this intense, emotional and ultimately hopeful musical makes a direct grab for the heart with its story of a family coming to terms with its past and bravely facing its future.
Estimated Run Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes with one intermission
Kerry A. Dowling*…Diana
Chris Caron…Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden
Cast & Crew
JEFF ADELBERG** (Lighting Design) SpeakEasy: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; Next to Normal; Red; reasons to be pretty; Nine; Body Awareness; Adding Machine: A Musical (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design); [title of show]; Blackbird; The New Century; The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig. Other recent work: The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe); The Lily’s Revenge(American Repertory Theater); John Kuntz’s The Hotel Nepenthe (Huntington Theatre Company’s Emerging America Festival); Middletown, Medea, The Hotel Nepenthe (IRNE Award)(Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Equally Divided (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Company We Keep and John Kuntz’sThe Salt Girl (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Miracle on 34th Street, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre); A Soft Murder, Noises Off, Oklahoma, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Boston Conservatory); Boston’s Christmas Revels since 2010. Jeff attended the University of Connecticut and teaches at Boston College. LDJeff.com
CHRIS CARON SpeakEasy debut! A native New Yorker, Chris is thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to play in one of his favorite roles. New York: Agamemnon (La MaMa),Scout’s Honor (NYC FRINGE), Civil Wargasm (Richmond Shepherd Theatre), 10 Speed Revolution (Young Mirror Repertory). National Tours: Footloose, Romeo and Juliet, and A Garfield Christmas. Regional: Man of La Mancha (Theatre by the Sea), Brigadoon(FCLO), Cinderella (Cabrillo Music Theatre) Henry V (Quintessence Theatre). He received a BFA from Adelphi University. Many Thanks to my family (especially mom) and friends for all of the support. “GO CARDINALS!”
CHRISTOPHER CHEW is thrilled to be performing again with SpeakEasy after taking a break to complete the coursework for his doctorate in Educational Leadership. Currently, he can be seen regularly serving in the role of Headmaster at North Middlesex Regional High School. His most enjoyable theatrical credits to date include shows with Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Wheelock Family Theater, Village Theatre Project, Stoneham Theater, and, of course, SpeakEasy Stage (Johnny Guitar, The Wild Party). Chris is a proud alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University Drama and a member of Actors’ Equity. Most importantly, Christopher thanks his phenomenal wife and children for enduring his schedule.
ASHLEY MARIE COLLETT SpeakEasy: debut. Ashley has a BFA in Fashion Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and has had a variety of experience in both fashion and costume. Past theatre credits include Confessions of a Rock Lobster, The Emancipation of Mandy and Miz Ellie, and Voyeurs De Venus. www.coroflot.com/ashleymariecollett.
NICHOLAS JAMES CONNELL (Musical Director) is so happy to be back in Boston at his favorite theatre company. He is an award-winning singer/songwriter and music director from Las Vegas with a BM in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music. Past SpeakEasy shows include music direction forThe Color Purple, In the Heights (IRNE Award for Best Musical Direction),Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Xanadu, Next to Normal, The Drowsy Chaperone, Nine, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Check out his original pop music on iTunes and Spotify. www.nicholasconnell.com
PAUL DAIGNEAULT (Producing Artistic Director) was the recipient of the 2014 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence by the Boston Theater Critics Association. Since founding SpeakEasy in 1992, he has produced over 100 Boston premieres. SpeakEasy directing highlights include: The Color Purple; In the Heights; Xanadu; Next to Normal; Nine; Body Awareness; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer – The Opera; The New Century; Some Men; Zanna, Don’t!; Parade (2008 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Midsize Company); Almost, Maine; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance (co-production Súgán); Bat Boy: The Musical (2003 Elliot Norton Award – Outstanding Director, Small Company); Passion; A New Brain; Violet; Songs for a New World; Floyd Collins; Jeffrey; and Love! Valour! Compassion! Regional credits: Grand Hotel and Nine (The Boston Conservatory and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music); Rent, City of Angels, Sunday in the Park with George, and Merrily We Roll Along (The Boston Conservatory); and Into the Woods, Urinetown, and Blue Window (Boston College). Paul is also on the faculty at The Boston Conservatory where he teaches musical theatre and directing. He has also been honored with the Boston College Arts Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2007, and served as the 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theatre Arts. Outside the theatre, Paul serves on the Boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
KERRY A. DOWLING* (Rita)returns to SpeakEasy having performed in Carrie; Far From Heaven; Clybourne Park; Next to Normal;The Drowsy Chaperone; Nine; The Great American Trailer Park Musical; Reckless; Jerry Springer – the Opera; The New Century; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Parade; The Women; Bat Boy; Company; Elegies; A New Brain; Triumph of Love; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Songs for a New World(SpeakEasy); Nicholas Nickleby, Follies(Lyric Stage); A Man of No Importance (Súgán/SpeakEasy); Steel Magnolias, Pal Joey (Stoneham);The Most Happy Fella, Dueling Divas (Gloucester);Distracted(Underground Railway);Gypsy(Next Door). Kerry is the recipient of the 2010 SpeakEasy Stage Outstanding Artist Award.
JULIE JENTZEN SpeakEasy: The Divine Sister, The Drowsy Chaperone, Nine, and Striking 12. New York City props artisan credits: Broadway’s Anything Goes, Playwrights Horizons’Assistance and The Public’s The Total Bent. Julie is training to be a wardrobe substitute on Rent at New World Stages.
TYLER KINNEY (Costume Design) Tyler is excited to return to SpeakEasy Stage, having previously designed Next to Normal and Striking 12. Tyler also designed costumes for Henry VIII, (IRNE Award for Best Costume Design, Actors’ Shakespeare Project); One Man, Two Guvnors; The Temperamentals; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lyric Stage Company); Collected Stories; Tales of Poe (New Rep); The Marvelous Wonderettes (Stoneham Theatre); Astro Boy & The God of Comics (Company One). Tyler is a BFA Theatre Design/Technology graduate from Emerson College. He was a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival national finalist for his scenic design of Bud, Not Buddy. Upcoming productions include Meet Me in St. Louis (Stoneham) and Henry VI, Part 2. (ASP). TylerKinney.com
TOM KITT 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 Outstanding 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. Tom is also the composer of High Fidelity (Broadway), The Winter’s Tale (The Public’s NYSF), From Up Here (Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Retributionists (Playrights Horizons). As a musical director, conductor, arranger, and orchestrator for Broadway, Off-Broadway and beyond, his credits include 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture, Hair, Laugh Whore, Pippin (Deaf West), and Urban Cowboy. He is the proud leader of the Tom Kitt Band, whose songs have been featured in film and TV.
ERIC LEVENSON** (Scenic Design). Previous SpeakEasy designs include sets for Far from Heaven; CARRIE the musical; Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; Next to Normal; Nine; [title of show]; The Savannah Disputation; Jerry Springer – The Opera; Blackbird; Some Men; Parade; Kiss of the Spiderwoman; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance (co-production with Súgán); A Class Act; Three Days of Rain; An American Daughter and Balm in Gilead (Elliot Norton Design Award). Eric recently participated in Sally Taylor’s Consenses, a multi-discipline project which premiered on Martha’s Vineyard in August. Eric is an All-Categories member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local USA 829.
MICHAEL LEVENSQUE recently appeared as Henry in SpeakEasy Stage’s production of Next to Normal. Michael is a recent graduate of Northeastern University’s BS Computer Engineering program. At NU, Michael played such roles as Benny (Guys and Dolls) and Adam (Shape of Things). Other local credits include Emmett (Legally Blonde), Man 2 (Songs for a New World), Homer (Floyd Collins) and Chad (All Shook Up). He would like to thank his mother for teaching him about true strength as well as his incredible family and friends for their unwavering support. Many thanks to the Paul’s and Nick for another unbelievable opportunity. Always for you, Dad.
SEAGHAN MCKAY** (Projection Designer) returns to SpeakEasy having previously designed projections for Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind; Next to Normal; Nine; Striking 12; [title of show]; and Jerry Springer – The Opera. Other local designs include The Flying Dutchman (Boston Lyric Opera);Gershwin Spectacular: Promenade (Boston Pops); Educating Rita (Huntington Theatre Company); On The Town (IRNE Nomination – Best Projection Design), Big River (Lyric Stage); Memory House(Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Light Up The Sky (Emerson Stage);Merrily We Roll Along, Rent (The Boston Conservatory); Hecuba, As You Like It (Brandeis Theater Company); The Threepenny Opera (Boston College); and Godspell (Gordon College). He assisted Projection Designer Peter Nigrini on the PBS documentary Becoming Helen Keller. Seághan is a member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local USA 829. www.seaghanmckay.com
ABIGAIL NEUHOFF SpeakEasy: Red. Other local theater credits: Eurydice (set design, scenic painting, props), Romeo & Juliet (production design, costumes, dramaturg) and Proof(master carpenter), all presented by the Independent Drama Society; Italian Girl in Algiers (scenic painter) produced by Boston Midsummer Opera; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (props) staged by Riverside Theatre Works; and The Hotel Plays (technical venue manager) for the Tennessee Williams Festival. Abigail also teaches after-school photography at Boston Latin School, is the costume coordinator for Edison K-8 School, and is an assistant freelance technical director for Beaver Country Day School.
ERIC NORRIS SpeakEasy: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Next to Normal, Xanadu. Company One: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Eric is a Midwest native, now Brookline resident and graduate of the New England Institute of Art with a BS in Audio and Media Technology. He has experience working in studio/freelance recording (Mike Davidson Recording/Zippah Recording), live sound mixing and plays bass/electric guitar in the band Grand Resort.
JUSTIN PHILLIPS SpeakEasy: debut. He was a Freshman acting major at the Hartt School. He graduated in 2011 from Newton North High School, where he worked on many productions.
AMY LOUISE SPALLETTA* previously stage managed Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Next to Normal, Next Fall, Nine, and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) for SpeakEasy. Previous Boston-area credits include: Our Town, God of Carnage, Educating Rita, The Miracle at Naples, and Third (Huntington Theatre); All’s Well That Ends Well (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Hot Mikado, Opus, Indulgences, Speed-the-Plow, Mister Roberts, Exits and Entrances, Cabaret, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Eurydice(New Repertory Theater); The Scene, This Wonderful Life, and Miss Witherspoon (Lyric Stage); and Mr. Marmalade (Company One). Other regional credits include: The Europeans and Scenes from an Execution (PTP/NYC). Amy graduated from Boston University with a concentration in stage management and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
MICHAEL TACCONI SpeakEasy: debut. Michael is in his final year at The Boston Conservatory, where some of his favorite roles have been Frank Cioffi (Curtains), Pozzo (Waiting for Godot), CB (Dog Sees God), and Johnny Pye (Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller). Thanks to Mom, Dad, Kerilyn, and Bob for creating a home full of inspiration and joy, to all of his teachers and friends who bless him to the core, and to God for putting it all together.
MICHELE TEEVAN Previous SpeakEasy credits include Tribes (PA), What Lips My Lips Have Kissed (SM), Clybourne Park (PA), Other Desert Cities (PA), All About Election Eve (SM), Next to Normal (PA), Red (PA), Sorry, Wrong Number (ASM), The Divine Sister (PA) and The Blue Room (SM). Boston credits include Henry VIII (ASM) with Actors Shakespeare Project; Amadeus(PA)and Little Shop of Horrors (PA)withNew Repertory Theatre; The Nutcracker (ASM) with Northeast Youth Ballet; The Death of Tintagiles (SM) and Cruel Botany (SM) with imaginary beasts; The Fakus: A Noir (SM) with Centastage; and Romeo and Juliet (SM) with the Happy Medium Theatre Company. Michele is the Associate Production Manager at Speakeasy, the Production Manager at the Boston Opera Collaborative and is a graduate of Emerson College with her BFA in Stage and Production Management. .
SRDA VASILJEVIC SpeakEasy: debut. Srda was a marketing intern for SpeakEasy last spring. He is currently a sophomore Theatre Studies – Directing student at Emerson College. Emerson credits: Wiley and the Hairy Man, RUR, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Recent credits: directed the New England premiere of The Sugar Witch and served as a producer for the developmental production of Darling, A New Musical.
JAMES WILKINSON SpeakEasy: Next to Normal; Red; The Divine Sister; Next Fall. James is a 2010 alum of Trinity College, where he graduated with degrees in Theatre and Dance (with honors) and English. He served as prop master for Gloucester Stage Company’s 2011 season. Other recent shows include Long Day’s Journey into Night (New Rep), Art (New Rep), and Archangels Don’t Play Pinball (Trinity College). He has worked at other New England theaters including The North Shore Music Theatre, Apollinaire Theatre, Salem Theatre Company, and the Judy Dworin Performance Ensemble.
BRIAN YORKEY received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score, for Next to Normal. Brian 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’sThe Wedding Banquet and the country musical Play It By Heart. Film and TV projects in development include the features Time After Time for Universal, Love Undercover for Pandemonium Films and Overture, Fashion Show for Parkes/MacDonald and Paramount and Chase for Anonymous Content and Rosenzweig Films. He has directed off-Broadway and regionally and for seven years was associate artistic director at Village Theatre in Washington state, 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.