Next to Normal

This March, we were honored with the opportunity to display some of our art from the Give Grief a Voice project at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center in Vancouver, WA, in conjunction with their performance of the award-winning musical, Next to Normal, from March 15th – March 30th. The play follows a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder after the loss of her son, as well how the loss has impacted the rest of the family. 

The story Next to Normal tells deeply resonated with our team with its raw and realistic portrayal of grief and its effects on families. Amanda shared her thoughts:

As a bereaved mother, I was deeply moved by the off-Broadway production of “Next to Normal.” The show’s raw portrayal of grief, mental illness, and the intricate dynamics of family resonated with me on such a profound level. It felt like the creators truly understood the rollercoaster of emotions that come with losing a child and navigating through the aftermath. The music was hauntingly beautiful, and the performances were incredibly powerful, capturing the essence of each character’s pain and resilience. “Next to Normal” not only touched my heart but also provided a sense of validation and understanding that is rare to find in mainstream media. It’s a masterpiece that speaks to the soul and offers solace to those who have walked a similar path of loss and healing.

Following the 2PM performance on March 17th, Amanda was invited to speak at the Talk Back panel, where she discussed with the audience the impact of therapy and how people can support grieving families, expanding on the themes of the play and its relation to the work we do.

We would like to thank Director Bryce Britton for recognizing Amanda and the Give Grief a Gallery Tour, and for their expertise in supporting individuals and families dealing with unexpected child loss. We are so grateful for their work and dedication to helping others navigate such a difficult experience.

MPA’s Next to Normal will continue to run through March 30th. If given the opportunity, we highly encourage our community to support this important musical and view the Give Grief a Voice mini art installation in the MPA lobby. Whether through the careful strokes of paint brushes or the powerful vocal performances of the actors, we hope that by witnessing grief through art, we can come to a better understanding of it as a community and form a path towards healing.