Auburn CAPA students bring Pulitzer Prize-winning musical to the stage

• Next to Normal to be staged May 30-31 at Rockford Auburn High School

Staff Report

Auburn Creative and Performing Arts Program (CAPA) will premiere the Rockford area’s first-ever performance of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal.

With music by Tom Kitt and lyrics and book by Brian Yorkley, Next to Normal will run at Auburn High School, 5110 Auburn St., Rockford, May 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee performance May 31.

Ticket prices for Next to Normal are $10 each and can be purchased at the door or reserved at or by e-mailing

Next to Normal follows a suburban mother, Diana, and the effects on her family as she struggles with her worsening bipolar disorder and the treatment that follows. The 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama explores issues of grieving loss, suicide, and ethics in modern psychology as well as the secrets of suburban living with a riveting pop/rock Tony Award-winning score.

Next to Normal was presented to Auburn CAPA theater faculty as a possible senior project by Auburn senior Theresa Garner. The faculty then decided to bring the project forward as a full mainstage Auburn CAPA theater production.

Next to Normal has this effect on people that when they start listening, they can’t help but want more, and the same thing happened with our director, Mr. Crow,” Garner said. “The more we got into the story, the more he realized how important he felt it was to share it with as wide an audience as we can.”

The Next to Normal artistic team includes Director James L. Crow and Technical Director Joselyn Ludtke, with local musical talent Paul Steffan and Addison Youngblood as vocal directors.

The cast of Next to Normal includes Auburn CAPA students Theresa Garner, Phillip Fox, Asia Ward, Jacob Herrmann, John Standford, Ellie Dudeck and Taylor Maurchie-Banks.

The CAPA program at Auburn High School is Rockford’s premier and only arts-concentrated high school tract. With more than six productions a season, Auburn CAPA theater provides students with the opportunity to perform, learn and discover the craft of performing arts in a professional and intensive environment.

Follow Auburn CAPA theater on Facebook at

From the May 28-June 3, 2014, issue

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