[CASTING] SEEKING ACTORS FOR “NEXT TO NORMAL”

East West Players, the longest running theater of color in the US, is seeking actors to play Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, Mixed Race, and diverse ethnicities for Next to Normal with music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey.

Next to Normal is about the seemingly picture perfect Goodman family. However, Diana, the mother, is a little too happy. Her husband Dan constantly worries. Her daughter Natalie is awfully intent on getting that scholarship to Yale. And her son Gabe, well… Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, a 2008 Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Score, and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal is a heartbreaking, humorous, and unflinchingly authentic look at a suburban family struggling with the effects bipolar disorder. Set to a pulsating rock score by Tom Kitt (American Idiot) with a powerhouse female lead at its core, Next to Normal will leave you breathless.

Director: Nancy Keystone
Musical Director: Marc Macalintal

Rehearsals begin April 10, 2017.
Technical Rehearsals begin May 2, 2017.
Previews run from May 11-14, 2017.
Opening Wednesday, May 17, for a four-week run (5 performances a week) through June 11, 2017.
Option to extend till June 25.

AEA SPT Cat. 5 Contract ($393 per week plus benefits). Also seeking non-union performers ($150 honoraria per week plus EMC credit).

Please note: Below gender descriptions describe the characters. We encourage performers to audition for the role(s) that best align with their identity. Casting is open to performers of all races, ethnicities, transgender, cisgender, and gender non-conforming performers.

Roles

DIANA (to play Asian American, South Asian American, or Pacific Islander, 30s-40s): A middle aged wife and mother. Sexy. Sharp. Delusional bipolar depressive. Although she once dreamed of being an architect, she gave up this ambition when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant in college. She is smart and outwardly appears strong, but she is actually about to shatter. Lost in her life, she’s been afflicted for 16 years with bipolar depression and delusions since the death of her son. She believes he is still there, with her, growing up. An excellent singer and actress is needed for this demanding role. Waltzing and tango Alto w/ belt/mix to E 23 songs.

DAN (to play Asian American, South Asian American, or Pacific Islander, 30s-40s): Diana’s husband, father of Gabe and Natalie. Handsome, genuine, loyal, constant, weary. He is a stand-up guy, loves his wife and daughter, and is trying to hold his family together against great odds. Underneath his strength and normalness, he has a desperate need for sex and intimacy which is unanswered in his marriage and life. As the story unfolds, his steadfast facade slowly crumbles, and a shaken, confused, and angry man is revealed beneath. Tries to be supportive and optimistic despite his wife’s crippling and seemingly permanent illness. High Baritone / Tenor to A 16 songs.

GABE (to play Asian American, South Asian American, or Pacific Islander, 18): Son of Diana and Dan. Handsome, gentle, dashing, bright, playful—everything a mother could want—yet also sharp, manipulative, calculating, and possessive. He is the embodiment of Diana’s illness—a figment of her imagination. Gabe is a delusion, Diana’s wish for who and what her son would be if he had not died as a baby. Underneath the handsome, playful, perfect boy, there lurks a darkness and malevolence, a need to be seen and a need to control. A very strong rock/pop singer and a good mover is needed for this role. Gabe serves as a narrator of his mother’s problems throughout the play. Rock Tenor to B 13 songs.

NATALIE (to play Asian American, South Asian American, or Pacific Islander, 16): Daughter of Diana and Dan. Sixteen and trying to be perfect and hold it all together, frantically practicing piano, desperate to get out of her crazy house and go to college on a music scholarship. It’s not going well. Natalie tries to excel in school, but finds the stress of dealing with her mother’s illness is too much to handle. Also encountering her first romance, laden with fears of rejection, and unsure of how much of her mother’s illness may be hereditary. Provides a counterpoint to Diana. Natalie must appear to realistically play classical piano in several scenes. Alto w/ belt/mix to E 14 songs.

HENRY (to play Asian American, South Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, Latino, or Middle Eastern American, 17): Natalie’s musician boyfriend. A bit of a loner, romantic, a stoner, and slacker—a philosopher king. Henry is kind, compassionate, patient, and supportive of Natalie, as she continually rejects him while trying to cope with her family. High Baritone / Tenor to A 6 songs.

FINE & DR MADDEN, ANESTHESIOLOGIST, OTHERS (to play Asian American, South Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, Latino or Middle Eastern American, 30s-40s): Diana’s two doctors played by the same actor. Young side of ageless. Must convey detachment and empathy, intelligence, differing levels of self-assuredness, confidence, and doubt. High Baritone / Tenor to A 7 songs.

Submissions for Appointments

Submissions will be accepted through February 20, 2017.
EPA Open Calls for Union and Non Union Performers: Monday, February 27, 2017, 12-4pm (walk-ins accepted starting at 11:30, or sign up at AEA Office).
Scheduled Appointment Auditions:  Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 12-8pm.
Callbacks (Appointment Only): Saturday, March 4, 2017, 1-6pm.

Preparation: Please prepare one song—Contemporary Musical Theatre or Rock Belt—that best showcases your emotional range and ability to tell a story. Please bring your sheet music for the accompanist, marked as you would like it to be played. Please bring your book just in case we ask for a variation.

Agent and Personal submissions may be made through Actors Access and Breakdown Services.

Electronic submissions, please send Headshot and Resume to casting@eastwestplayers.org

  • Please list desired role to be considered for in the Email Subject Line
  • Please change file name of PDF or Digital Images to YOUR LAST NAME

Or send via postal mail your recent photo, resume, and role to be considered for:
Casting: NTN – [Name Desired Role]
East West Players
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012