Next To NormalSometimes we wonder why we make art, against all odds. We fail. We fail to connect. We fail to see. We fail to be seen. Even our triumphs seem so short-lived.  It seems so meaningless, so empty. We feel like giving up. Others do what we do so much better, so much worse. We are inconsequential.

Then we see a painting, or tonight a piece of theatre, which answers the question why we do it. Cate and I saw Next to Normal at Dockstreet. This was Art that speaks to our insecurities but doesn’t fault us our humanity. This is theatre that illuminates our connection with each other without being demonstrative. This is an experience that reminds us why we live at least until tomorrow, even when at times it feels so far away.

Bravo to those brave (bravo) souls who make this happen, even those toiling in the darkest corners of the darkest rooms, whom time will never know.

The play is about a family dealing with chronic mental health issues. It cuts to the heart of the impact it has on everyone. I was grateful to Charleston Stage for presenting it and that in the program they listed mental health resources in Charleston.

The epidemic is growing and still there is no clear way to deal with it. Treatment is mostly a guessing game, not a science. Diagnosis overlap, and there is rarely a clear cut answer. The Pulitzer Prize winning play, brilliantly performed and directed, lives in that ambiguity brilliantly.   Next to Normal runs til March 2.   This is absolutely must see theatre.

Mention or enter code “SEEITN2N” and receive up to four $20 tickets. Call (843) 577-7183 or enter code online by clicking the “Buy” button on the website.    

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