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Next to Normal

Still playing catchup! It stinks that there are so many awesome things I've missed, but I'll try and include the most important events. Next up: My Mask Club!

A Mask Club production is a 45-minute cutting of a show that seniors direct in the advanced directing class, TMA 436. I had been planning mine for a long time. I would do a cutting of the musical Spring Awakening. I had made the cutting and had been plotting and planning for literally a year. I had all the pre-production work done. I was ready to cast the first week of school when I received terrible news. Despite the fact that my show had been approved in January, I was no longer going to be allowed to direct Spring Awakening because of the difficult themes and content. I had, of course, made extreme edits to make sure that the cutting was appropriate, but the climate of the department was such that the powers that be could not take such a risk at that time.

So, I was back to square one. As you might imagine, I was devastated. All my hard work and planning was down the drain. My Mask Club was scheduled to perform in just over a month and I had no show. Luckily, my professor Rodger Sorensen (bless that man!) let me move my show to the very last slot on December 9th, but I was still showless.

I started reading scripts as quickly as I could. I went through possibility after possibility, and I finally happened upon the script for the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal. For whatever reason, I immediately knew that this was the show I needed to do. I got it approved, and everything seemed to fall into place.

After going through several casting options (including using professional actress and BYU acting faculty member Kym Mellen as the lead role), I finally held open auditions and found a FANTASTIC cast. I worked tirelessly on the show all semester while doing my Practicum teaching (a month-long unit on Greek tragedy at Spanish Fork Junior High with my partner Jason Langlois) as well as several other difficult classes.

While I went through many trials in the production of this show, the most difficult one was the lost of my friend Lelagi Klein. She committed suicide while in an extremely depressed state. She had struggled with bipolar depression for most of her life (something most of her friends were unaware of). This was an incredibly difficult time, particularly because Next to Normal chronicles the life of a woman who struggles with bipolar depression and how it affects her family. At this point I questioned the "rightness" of my doing this show. Still, something told me to keep with it, and in the end I directed a production that I am positive changed lives.

My mom was able to come see the show, which was the greatest gift! Unfortunately, she got extremely ill that evening, but I was so grateful for her support. My grandparents, in-laws, teahcers, and friends all came as well, and it was one of the most fulfilling days of my life. Here are some photos from the production:

Top of the show:

"I will hold it all together
We’re the perfect loving fam’ly
If they say we’re not then screw ‘em."

"My psychopharmacologist and I…
It’s like an odd romance.
Intense and very intimate,
We do our dance."

"Zoloft and Paxil and Buspar and Xanax…
Depakote, Klonopin, Ambien, Prozac…
Ativan calms me when I see the bills—
These are a few of my favorite pills."

"It’s gonna be good!
It’s gonna be good.
Gonna sit right down together
Like a happy fam’ly should."

"He’s been dead
Sixteen years…
No, my love, he’s not here."

"I am the one who knows you,
I am the one who cares,
I am the one who’s always been there."

"Superboy and the invisible girl…
Son of steel and daughter of air.
He’s a hero, a lover, a prince—
She’s not there."

"Catch me I'm falling.
Please here me calling.
Catch me before it's too late."

"There’s a world…
There’s a world I know.
A place we can go
Where the pain will go away—"


"I am more than memory—
I am what might be, I am mystery.
Come closer…"

"I don’t need a life that’s normal—
That’s way too far away.
But something…next to normal
Would be okay."

"Perfect for you…
I will be perfect for you.
So you could go crazy,
Or I could go crazy, it’s true…"

"I am the one who loved you.
I am the one who stayed.
I am the one, and you walked away."

"When we open up our light.
Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.
Can fight that fight.
There will be light."

The whole cast and crew:

CAST:
Diana: Leslie Hiatt
Dan: Kent Lloyd
Gabe: Beau Brewster
Natalie: Aurora Florence
Henry: Elijah Thomas
Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden: Ben Isaacs

BAND:
Keyboard: Derrick Clements
Bass Guitar: Colin Hatch
Lead Guitar: Joshua Hardy
Cello: Tessa Wilkerson
Drums: Richard Williams

CREW:
Director: Camee Anderson Faulk
Lighting Designer: McKell Crandall
Properties Designer: Richie Uminski
Sound Designer: Spencer Carter
Costume Designer: Bergen Goesch
Hair & Makeup Designer: Kat Webb
Assistant Stage Manager: Lizz Miller
Assistant Stage Manager: Lauren Poet
Assistant Stage Manager: Lauren Wilkins
Assistant Stage Manager: Alexis Wood

Comments

  1. Camee! I would have loved to see you and Jason teach together!! he was in my Spanish Lit class and I saw him as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and I think he's the bon-diggety. You guys would have been awesome together. I'm glad your show went so well and I'm sorry about your friend Legali.

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