Next to Normal

Oct 8–Nov 16

Music by Tom Kitt

Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Directed by David Schweizer

Life behind the white picket fence is far from simple for the Goodman family. Compared with her perfect brother, daughter Natalie is facing growing pains; her father Dan has grown tired and distant; and at the center of it all, wife and mother Diana, armed with a regimen of prescription pills, is fighting an uphill battle with grief. But as painful memories begin to take their toll on Diana’s condition, decisions are made that will push their familial bonds to the breaking point. Set to a rock score both thrilling and poignant, with a powerhouse female lead at its core, Next to Normal is the must-see musical of the year that will leave you breathless.

Approximate running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission.

Next to Normal features a vibrant rock score that won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. Listen to the original Soundtrack here.

Read a note from the Director.

View the Program.

View Parental Guidelines.

Check out this sneak peek behind-the-scenes with Director David Schweizer and Musical Director Darren Cohen:


2010 Pulitzer Prize:
  • Winner for Drama (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey)
2009 Tony Awards:
  • Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley)
  • Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey)
  • Best Orchestrations (Tom Kitt and Michael Starobin)
2009 Helen Hayes Awards:
  • Best Non-Residential Production


I do like to apprise readers of noteworthy theatrical events in other places, since we all do travel here and there and yonder. So if you find yourself near the great port town of Baltimore between now and November 16, do your theatrical self a favor and score a ticket to Center Stage’s thrilling, just-opened production of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, helmed by veteran New York director (and Baltimore native) David Schweizer, choreographed by Dan Knechteges, and featuring a stunningly talented cast that includes Ariela Morgenstern, Michael Winther, Matthew Rodin, Matt Lutz, Kally Duling, and Justin Scott Brown. Worth the short trip from New York… and you can get your crab cake fix, too!

Show Business Weekly 



–The Baltimore Sun

 Spectacularly daring, brilliantly unconventional. 

–DC Metro Theater Arts

 A superlative cast. 


 It grabs you whole and makes you feel. 

–DC Theater Scene


 [A] brave, breathtaking musical… A work of muscular grace and power. 

–The New York Times


Related Events

Previews: Oct 8-14
Audience members get a sneak peek at the final rehearsals of the play for a discounted ticket price from a post-opening night performance.
Night Out LGBT Cocktail Hour: Tue, Oct 14
A special cocktail hour that welcomes the LGBTQ community to mingle before a preview performance with complimentary cocktails and appetizers from Gertrude’s.
Opening Night: Wed, Oct 15
Guests and ticket-buyers are invited to special Opening Night activities and an after-party with heavy hors d'oeuvres by sponsor Classic Catering and beer from sponsor Union Brewery.
Meet the Actors: Fri, Oct 17
We provide a casual atmosphere to chat with the cast after the show. Ask them your questions and get some autographs!   
ForeWords & AfterThoughts Discussion: Thu, Oct 23 (7 pm); Sun, Oct 26 (2 pm); Sun, Nov 2 (2 pm); Thu, Nov 6 (7 pm)
These performances include pre- and post-show discussions featuring Center Stage dramaturgy, artistic staff, and special guests.

Ask the Doctor w/ Mark Komrad, Post-show Q&A: Tue, Nov 11 (8 pm)
Mark is a psychiatrist on the teaching staff of Sheppard Pratt, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins who speaks around the country about how movies and plays present mental illness, its treatments, and its treaters. He is a frequently consulted as a mental health expert for shows such as Dan Rodricks “MidDay on the Mind” on WYPR, among others.

Mental Health Association Talkbacks: Sun, Oct 26 (2pm) Thu, Oct 30 (7 pm); Thu Nov 13 (7 pm); Fri Nov 14 (8 pm)
The Mental Health Association of Maryland is partnering with Center Stage to host three post-show discussions:

Arts & Mental Health (Oct 26)
Director of the Improv Troupe, Dianne Megargel will participate in a discussion about the Arts/Performance and Mental Health and also highlight the work of the Mental Health Players, the improv troupe of the MHAMD.

Diversity & Mental Health (Oct 30)
What does society say is normal vs. what just may be personality quirks or personal idiosyncrasies. How do we define normal? Religion and diversity: “hearing the voice of god and not just hearing voices.” Race: why is there so much stigma and race as it relates to Mental Health, particularly in communities of color. Why the stigma and shame? Panelist, Oscar Morgan.

Women & Mental Health (Nov 13)
When the mom falls apart, the whole family suffers. How is the role of Women and Mental Health different from others? How do we see this show up in the play? Panelist, Kim Burton. 

A table with resources and information will remain in The Head Theater Lobby throughout the run of the show, provided by MHAMD. Learn more at
Wright-Right Now: Thu, Nov 13 (6:30 pm)
Meet our resident playwright and let her write you a play! This brave playwright sits in the theater lobby ready to take prompts from patrons and write, on the spot, a personal and customized short play—which audience members can then take home with them at the end of the evening.
Black Mental Health Alliance Post-show Discussion: Fri, Nov 14
Join us immediately after the show for a discussion with Jan A. Desper, Executive Director of the Black Mental Health Alliance, and Dr. Jonathan Shepherd, the Board President for Black Mental Health Alliance and a psychiatrist and medical director at Hope Health Systems, Inc. Learn more about the support services, screening, events, and more at
Open Captioning: Sun, Nov 2 (2 pm)    
Our system provides the text of the play on a screen, as well as descriptions of any sound effects, so that people can read along with the action that is happening on stage.
Audio Described:  Sun, Nov 2 (2, 8 pm)    
Volunteer audio describers provide an objective description of the non-verbal action on stage.


Ariela Morgenstern*

Kally Duling*

Justin Scott Brown*

Matthew Rodin *

Michael Winther*

Matt Lutz*
Dr. Madden


David Schweizer

Darren Cohen
Musical Director

Caleb Wertenbaker
Set Designer

David Burdick
Costume Designer

Aaron Black
Lighting Designer

Ryan Rumery
Sound Designer

Dan Knechtges

Driscoll Otto
Projection Designer

Catherine Maria Rodriguez

Ryan Haase
Associate Director

Jessica Hartman 
Assistant Choreographer

Captain Kate Murphy*
Stage Manager

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

Production Photos:

(Click images to enlarge.)