Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to present “Next to Normal” theater performance

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523

Westfield – Westfield State University’s Theater Arts Program will present the award-winning musical Next to Normal for its spring production April 10–13 in the Ely Studio Theatre, Ely Campus Center, at 8 p.m.  

The production will be directed by Sabine Klein, Ph.D., associate professor of English and coordinator of the Theater Arts Program, supported by the design team of Heather Crocker Aulenback, Caitlin Smith Rapoport, and Dustin Yager. The lead character roles will be filled by Westfield State junior Emily Stratton ’20 (as Diana Goodman), senior Jake O’Kane (as Dan Goodman), and senior Glenna Forgue ’19 (as Natalie Goodman).

Written by Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal follows the life of Diana Goodman and her family as she struggles to overcome a longtime battle with mental illness onset by the death of her infant son. The production explores contemporary issues such as grief, trauma, mental illness, mental health treatment, and the definition of family and highlights a small cast of actors to showcase their individual vocal talents. Music by written by Tom Kitt with lyrics written by Brian Yorkey.

The award-winning production has received accolades such as the 2009 Tony Award for best musical score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. The original Broadway production was produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, and Second Stage Theatre.

The production is open to the public and campus community. Ticket prices are $6 for students, $10 for seniors and faculty/staff, and $14 for general admission. April 10–13 shows will begin at 8 p.m., with an additional matinee showing on Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at

Disclaimer: Next to Normal contains adult language and situations.        

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

For more information about Westfield State University, visit, follow us on Twitter at, or on Facebook at


Go back