We are fundraising to produce "Next to Normal", a musical about a family's struggle with mental illness, to pave the way for other socially relevant theatre in Twin Falls.
I'm a student at Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls, Idaho, a classical education college prep school. As part of our graduation requirements, each senior is required to produce a Senior Classical Compendium, which includes a 30+ page dissertation exploring the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance, justice, faith, hope, and love, an exposition which shows an application of the virtues studied in the dissertation, and a verbal evaluation from a panel of our teachers and mentors.
As someone who has experienced first-hand mental illness and the stigma that comes with it and seeing what it did to my family, the Broadway musical Next to Normal spoke to me the first time I saw it and continues to every time I read the script or listen to the soundtrack. It is the story of Diana Goodman, a delusional bipolar depressive, and how she and her family learn to cope with their individual circumstances and with Diana's illness. The speech and song in this show are heart-wrenching, and I feel the story needs to be told not only to shake the audience awake to their own and others' humanity, but also to pave the way for other theatrical productions in the Magic Valley who wish to explore controversial social themes through theatre.
This project will practice the virtue of courage by bringing controversial topics, such as the stigma of mental illness, grief, drug abuse, suicide, and ethics in modern psychotherapy, to the forefront in Twin Falls' theatre community, and by volunteering to take a great deal of backlash from conservative members of the community, so that theatrical groups wishing to perform controversial works or use theatre as a tool to create social change in the Magic Valley in the future will have that option.
The money raised will help pay primarily for royalties, set costs, and facility rental fees. Some other miscelaneous costs such as program and ticket printing will hopefully be covered by the money raised as well. Anything you can give helps, and my cast and crew and I appreciate it immensely.
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