Next to Normal - book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt *PULITZER PRIZE WINNER*
November 29 – December 15, 2012*
Suburban housewife Diana struggles to battle her mental demons, brought about, in part, by her bipolar disorder. Husband Dan fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to stop taking her meds. Sixteen year-old Natalie, on the other hand, can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal is a powerful, engaging and wholly contemporary musical about a family attempting to find a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of each other.
*All currently scheduled performances begin at 8PM
Kelly was recently in New York City performing in Chix 6 (The Queen’s Theatre In The Park). While in NYC, Kelly also worked on a number of upcoming musical projects for various composers including doing vocal arranging and recording original concept demos. Kelly is no stranger to the Actors’ stage. Her past credits include: Floyd Collins*, Batboy the Musical*, Spitfire Grill*, Rabbit Hole* and Tick Tick Boom. Other area theater credits include: Smokey Joe’s Café, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Das Barbeque, …Trailer Park Musical, Full Gallop (Mason Street Warehouse); A Chorus Line, Evita, JCS*, Merrily We Roll Along (Circle Theatre); Singin’ in the Rain* (Civic Theatre)(*Grand Award received/nominated). Kelly has also been headlining her solo cabaret act at the Dunes Resort (in Saugatuck) for ten years. She is also a vocal coach and audition preparation expert.
Jared Graybiel (Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine)
Jared is thrilled to be making his Grand Rapids theatre debut at Actors’ Theatre. Jared is a graduate of Hope College (2010). While there, he trained vocally in musical theater with Linda Dykstra. Under her teaching, Jared placed 1st in the National Association of Teachers of Singing at both the state and regional competition and was named “Most Promising Voice in Musical Theatre.” He was also heavily involved in Hope’s theatre and musical theatre program. Favorite theatre credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Wonderful Town (ensemble), By the Bog of Cats (Ghost Fancier), and The 1940s Radio Hour (BJ Gibson).
Kyle Los (Gabe)
Kyle was last seen at Actors’ Theatre as Hanschen in Spring Awakening. He is excited to be returning to the Actors’ stage after his Grand Award-winning performance as Berger in Hair at Circle Theater this past summer. You may recall seeing Kyle on Actors’ stage: Michael in The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and the Lecturer in Reefer Madness: The Musical [Nominated for a Grand Award]. Recently, Kyle has also worked off-stage as the Assistant Director for the Grand Award winning production of August: Osage County at Actors’ Theatre and the Sound Designer for Escanaba in Da Moonlight at Circle Theatre.
Duncan McCargar (Henry)
Duncan is so pleased to be back at Actors’ Theatre. He was last seen in last season’s production of Spring Awakening as Moritz. Duncan has also been seen in: Magic Circle Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland as the White Rabbit and as Rocky in Laugh Fest's 2011 production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He is currently a theatre major at Aquinas College where he has appeared in Isle of Marvels, Nevermore (Grand Award Nominee), Any Other Name, A Room with a View, and Writer 1272 (Grand Award Nominee).
Maggie Nye (Natalie)
Maggie could not be more thrilled to be a part of this production. She has performed on Grand Rapids Community Theatre stages many times throughout her 20 years of life. Some of her favorite roles include Peter Pan (Peter Pan 2010), Little Guido (Nine 2005), and her Grand Award winning role as Wendla in last season’s production of Spring Awakening.
Larry Young (Dan)
Larry has been on the Actors' Theatre stage for many productions including Floyd Collins, Pacific Overtures, Side Show, The Last Five Years, and most recently Next Fall. He has won three Grand Awards for his performances as Dr. Parker in Bat Boy, Ofﬁcer Lockstock in Urinetown and Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Larry is a graduate of GRCC and Hope College with a B.A. in Theater, He has performed with companies throughout the U.S. and also Vancouver, B.C. Currently Larry is the Managing Director of CREATIVE EDGE PRODUCTIONS and is in the process of forming a new company called L-CONCIERGE.
Brian received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score for his work on Next to Normal and was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Theatre credits include Making Tracks, which has played Off-Broadway and regionally; the musical adaptation of Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet; and the new country musical Play It By Heart. Film and TV include the features Time After Time, in development at Universal with Marc Platt, and Sluts for Lionsgate and Furst Films; he is currently writing Love Undercover for Pandemonium Films and Overture, and Chase for Anonymous Content and Rosenzweig Films; and he co-created Bears, a new series for the Logo network. 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.
Tom Kitt, Composer
Mr. Kitt most recently created orchestrations/arrangements/musical supervision for American Idiot (Berkeley Rep). Kitt composed the new musical Next to Normal, for which he received two Tony Awards (Best Original Score with Brian Yorkey and Best Orchestration with Michael Starobin), the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Score and the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition. As a composer, his other credits include High Fidelity on Broadway, From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons. As a musical director, conductor and arranger for Broadway and off-Broadway shows, his credits include 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture (Second Stage), Hair, Mario Cantone: Laugh Whore and Urban Cowboy. He created new orchestrations for the CTG/Deaf West production of Pippin. His string arrangements appear on the new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown. He is the proud leader of the Tom Kitt Band (www.tomkittband.com), and his original songs have been featured in film and on TV.
Fred Sebulske, Director
Next to Normal marks Fred's 58th directed production for Actors' Theatre. Recent directing credits include 2012's August: Osage County(Winner: 2012 Grand Award for Best Production of a Play), 2011's Spring Awakening(Winner: 2012 Grand Award for Best Production of a Musical), 2010's Distracted and recently, at Circle Theatre, Hair. Among his many awards and accolades, he is the recipient of 10 Grand Awards for outstanding direction, the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement Award and the Arts Council Arts Award.
Fred is the founder of Actors' Theatre Grand Rapids.
Scott Patrick Bell, Music Director
Scott was part of the award winning team for last season's Spring Awakening. Next to Normal marks his third project as Music Director for Actors'. He began his performance career at the age of 10, and has studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, EGRHS, GRCC & GVSU. Scott has performed before presidents Bush, Reagan & Ford, for PM Margaret Thatcher, Queen Beatrix (NDL), and has opened for Taylor Dane, Black Box, and Tony Randall. He has traveled and performed in venues throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New York, and continues to provide public and corporate entertainment. Scott has produced work for Heritage Theatre Group & GVSU, Circle Theatre, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids as well as summer concerts for Jazz At The Zoo with the West Michigan Jazz Society. Scott’s repertoire of work includes: Ain’t Misbehavin’; Smokey Joe’s Café (Grand Award); Love, Perfect, Change (GA Nomination); Back to Bacharach & David; Pippin; Altar Boyz; and Circle Celebrates: Songs You’ll Remember, Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert, Little Shop Of Horrors (Grand Award); and The Music of Queen concert for Circle Theatre. He appeared onstage in the Magic Circle production of Androcles & the Lion and in Company. He directed Once On This Island, Shout Somebody, and conducted They’re Playin’ Our Song for longtime mentor and friend, Cedric Ward, at Robeson Players. Scott has been a returning guest artist at Fountain Street Church and St. Thomas the Apostle, as well as several other charitable organizations.
Jolene Frankey, Choreographer
Jolene last appeared in the Actors' production of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is delighted to be making her choreography debut with the company. Other performance credits include Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (PA), Cherry County Playhouse (MI), Pittsburgh Playhouse (PA), NBC Studios (NY), and locally with Civic Theatre, Circle Theatre, and Creative Edge Productions. Choreography credits: Gateway Playhouse (NY), CRW Productions (NY), Pittsburgh Playhouse (PA), and locally with Civic Theatre, and Youth Theatre Grand Rapids. Casting credits: Rosen & Wojcik Casting (NY), Fahey Dreher Casting (MI).