(July 25, 2022–Chatham, NY) The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Next to Normal” will make its Mac-Haydn debut from August 4-14 – a regional premiere production. The show promises to be an artistic highlight of the 2022 Mac-Haydn season, and is unlike anything audiences have ever seen on the Chatham stage.

A typical American family to the outside world, the Goodmans secretly struggle in their suburban home as they deal with the effects of their mother’s worsening mental health. As they navigate their changing world, they deal with the pressing contemporary issues of trauma, loss, mental health treatment, and what it means to be a family.

At the helm of the premiere production is Mac-Haydn Artistic Director John Saunders, who has earned numerous Berkshire Theatre Award nominations for his direction in recent years, as well as a win for Outstanding Production of a Musical for Ragtime (2019).

“Knowing that Next To Normal has not been really seen in the region, it feels like a tremendous honor to be presenting the show,” said Saunders. “While some may not consider it “Summer Stock” fare, I believe the show magically does what theatre is intended to do; it holds up a mirror for the viewer and offers an incredibly truthful look at a real family facing very real issues. Though the material is, at times, heavy, the show is written so beautifully to encompass great moments of levity, humor, and above all else, hope.”

Saunders is joined by Music Director Eric Shorey and Assistant Music Director Emily Croome. The production will feature scenic design by Emma Cummings, who will bring the Goodmans’ home to life on the Mac-Haydn stage, along with lighting design by Andrew Gmoser, costume design by Bethany Marx, sound design by Nick Caburis, wig design by Caitlin Maxwell, hair and makeup design by April Gerbode, and props design by David Tankersley, who will also assist Cummings.

Broadway’s Beth Kirkpatrick (Les Miserables, Hello Dolly) makes her Mac-Haydn debut as Diana. She is joined by Eric Van Tielen (Broadway: Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities) as Dan. Rounding out the cast are Mac-Haydn favorites Amber Mawande-Spytek (Pippin) as Natalie, Kylan Ross (Pippin, Urinetown) as Gabe, Andrew Burton Kelley (Little Shop of Horrors, She Loves Me) as Henry, and Gabe Belyeu (Man of La Mancha, A Chorus Line) as Dr. Madden.

“My goal is to really surprise our audience with this extraordinary piece and tell them a story that is even more relatable than some of the good old classic musicals,” said Saunders. “The score is both contemporary and classic at the same time which I know our audiences will enjoy tremendously and I just know the Mac-Haydn audiences will genuinely appreciate their experience with the show.”

“Next to Normal” features a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, with music by Tom Kitt. The thrilling all-genre score features hits including “I’m Alive,” “You Don’t Know” and “Just Another Day.”

Vaccination and masks are required for all patrons. For tickets, please visit www.machaydntheatre.org or call the box office at (518) 392-9292.

About the Mac-Haydn Theatre
Founded in 1969, the Mac-Haydn Theatre strives to present innovative, diverse and professional musical theatre productions to the residents of Columbia County and beyond. We aim to cultivate young talent for careers in theatre and seek to provide a supportive environment for the creation of new musical theatre works.

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