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Tiffin University to Produce “Next to Normal” Musical and Accompanying Events

From March 16-19, the Tiffin University School of Creative and Media Arts will feature four student performances of the musical, “Next to Normal” under Justin DeLong, Instructor of Music. Performances will take place in the Marion Center at 7 p.m. on March 16, 17 and 18, with a 1 p.m. matinee on March 19.

With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, “Next to Normal” was the winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including best musical score and won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama. “Next to Normal” addresses issues such as grief, loss, suicidality, drug abuse and ethics in modern psychiatry.

“I’m thrilled to help bring this deeply moving story to life for this community,” said DeLong. “This show tackles some complex and heavy but important topics, and the students in the cast have been working hard and bringing their whole selves during our rehearsals. It’s been a wonderful experience to work with them, and I’m so grateful for the empathy and honesty they each bring to their characters.”

The performance is being celebrated with additional events on campus.

On March 10, as a part of TU’s Engaged Fridays series for students, the University has named the day Creativity and Mental Health Day. At 2 p.m., at Chisholm Auditorium in Franks Hall, a lecture entitled, “Creativity and Madness: Creating Light in the Darkness of the World” will take place as a conversation with the musical’s themes. The talk will be given by Dr. Jonathan Appel, Tiffin University Professor of Psychology and Dr. Dohee Kim-Appel, Heidelberg University Professor of Counseling. According to Appel, the presentation “will discuss the historical and scientific relationships between madness, insanity and creativity, both as an expression of neurological and psychological diversity and as a tool for expressing and healing a wounded psyche.” The event is free and open to the public.

At 3 p.m. the same day, the TU Director of Counseling and Wellness, Erin Jensen Skeel LPCC-S and Performing Arts students offer insights into creative ways to cope with life’s stress.

Tickets for the musical are $15 for adults or $5 for students with a student ID. Visit tiffinmusic.com/nexttonormal to purchase.

Contact Justin DeLong at delongjm@tiffin.edu or 419.448.3391 with any questions about the musical.