|(image: Woodlawn Theatre via www.tpr.org)|
Vance said it is a provocative script. It’s the story of a woman whose mental disorders seem to be getting worse, and of her family who struggle to cope.
“In this case it’s a young woman who is diagnosed as bi-polar," said Artistic Director Greg Hinojosa, "which eventually leads to schizophrenia, suicide attempts. She goes through shock therapy. So she goes through a number of different treatments that seem to be helping her but what we see in this show is how it affects her husband, her younger daughter and certainly the relationships she has with both of her doctors.”
The show has been called “brave” and “breathtaking.” And it proved to be a great opportunity to expand the theater’s mission.
“Our goal is to increase our visibility to the city in terms of a theatre company that produces not only quality work, but work that’s going to be thought provoking and educational” said Hinojosa.
The Woodlawn partnered Next to Normal with the San Antonio State Hospital. Its cast went to the hospital and served as volunteers. At the Sunday matinee, the theater offered a chance for audience members to become more educated about mental illness, thanks to Dr. Kathleen Stanley, a clinical psychiatrist at the hospital, who stayed for over an hour after the show to answer audience questions.
“About how to seek treatment for family members and loved ones who they suspect might have problems with mental illness or what do you do if you have somebody in your family who is per chance being belligerent and you know that they need to seek treatment but they refuse.”