In keeping with its mission of producing groundbreaking works by and for underrepresented communities, Ground Floor Theatre teamed up with Deaf Austin Theatre for this production of Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey's Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal to be fully deaf inclusive. Each character will be played by two cast members — one deaf, one hearing. In addition to being inclusive, this production will add the beauty of American Sign Language to every performance enhancing the message of the show, which deals with mental health, addiction, and suburban family dynamics.
Next to Normal explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Dad's an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wisecracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling bipolar disorder for 16 years. Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family's story with love, sympathy and heart.