Next To Normal: A Troubled Family Rocks

Cardinal Stage Company’ presents the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning rock musical.

Diana and Dr.

Photo: Cardinal Stage Company

Tina Stafford as the troubled Diana with Dr. Fine, Will Perkins

Event Information

Next To Normal

rock musical about a suburban family dealing with a mentally ill mother Music by Tom Kitt, Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey


Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center

March 22-April 7, 2013

Next to Normal is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning rock musical. In the Cardinal Stage Company’s production at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, a suburban family is fighting to get back to “normal.”

At the center of the family is the troubled wife and mother, Diana. “Diana is trauma triggered” says actor Tina Stafford. “She’s been up and down with depression and bi-polar episodes and anxiety for years. Despite all this these episodes the family especially her husband and daughter have struggled to have a life, to be normal. And although this sounds a bit grim, there’s a good deal of humor and courage in their efforts.”

This is Stafford’s second visit to Bloomington. “I played the part of a wicked witch in the Premiere Musical, Developing Musical Theatre at IU in The Day Boy and the Night Girl in the summer of 2008. It sounds corny, but I’m pleased as punch to be back. I love Bloomington.”

Stafford has a thoughtful approach to playing the troubled Diana. “I am fortunate to be sort of anxiety free. In my own life, I have not had much experience with mental illness. You know, when you’re playing a role which is extreme, you can’t really be extreme in your own life. If you play Hitler, you don’t actually go out and commit genocide. So playing a woman with troubles I have to sort of play at the troubles, I can’t actually break down because I wouldn’t be able to sing or get off stage and have a sip of water every now and then.”

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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