The Show Synopsis:
Next to Normal (NTN) is a 2008 American Rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. The story centers on a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effects that managing her illness has on her family. It is one of just 10 musicals which have won both Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for drama (Hamilton was another). The musical is tremendously realistic and emotional, with the ending giving hope to those who have family members who struggle with mental illness. Joe has performed in NTN 4 times and has selected his favorite actors from those 4 productions to come to Puerto Rico and reprise their roles. David will be Director (with Joe) and be in charge of technical, helping make sure that the production’s cast and crew are able to give the most professional production possible to help drive additional ticket sales for future shows.
This show is a wonderful way of bringing up the prevalence of mental illness, which is often kept silent, and we would plan on holding pre-show and post show talkbacks to discuss this issue with, perhaps, a local mental health expert. This topic also allows us to get local university students who are studying psychology and therapy to involved, at least in being audience members.
Cast & Crew:
TALLIE CARTER, Diana, is a transplant to the Midwest, living in Maumee, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, for over 20 years, hailing originally from Southern California where she sang professionally. She is thrilled to be reprising the challenging role of Diana, which she performed in the 2018 at the Croswell Opera House with Joe and Dominic, along with musical director, David Rains. She has appeared in numerous other shows over the past years, including a lead role in a local performance of the musical, Chess, and is currently appearing in the musical comedy, Disenchanted, also at the Croswell Opera House. Tallie also loves costuming shows, as well as helping friends and clients with both their wardrobe and interior designs, and her website is www.tallecarterdesign.com
KAT GEERTSEN, Natalie, is a resident of Wisconsin once again, after reluctantly trading in her Florida ID. Theatre has taken her from Milwaukee to Chicago, Wichita, Orlando, Alaska, and Mexico, where she most recently sang at a fundraiser for Casa Hogar, a home for kids in need in Los Cabos. Kat considers herself incredibly lucky to return to the work of Kitt & Yorkey (Next to Normal, Natalie; If/Then, Elizabeth), and to be able to add a pin in PR to her map of places traveled! Kat is currently working as a Shift Supervisor for Starbucks while earning her Graduate Certificate in Sustainability through Arizona State University. She enjoys learning languages and dialects, guitar, ukulele, and the art of voiceover, and continues to say yes to performance opportunities. ¡Muchas gracias, San Juan! www.katgeertsen.com
JOE NOLAN, Dan, who owns a natural food store and restaurant in Wisconsin (www.goodharvestmarket.com and www.hopharvestvine.com), spent the first 25 years of his career as a successful financial advisor and retired at age 50 to concentrate on both his store and his other passions, like musical theater. He has performed for the last 25 years in both professional and community theater, with lead roles in shows including Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, Godspell, The Secret Garden and Next to Normal (4 times!). Most recently, Joe appeared in a staged reading at the Skylight Musical Theater in Milwaukee of a brand new musical called Fortunate Sons, written by Tony and Oscar award winner, Paul Williams (Songs about Rainbows, Evergreen) in February. Joe is also very results driven, able to set goals along with the steps to achieve them, having started running after age 40 and having now qualified for the Boston Marathon 5 times, along with 4 Ironman Triathlons. He also currently sits on 2 non profit boards and typically acts as treasurer or board chair
MICHAEL STODDARD, Dr. Madden, has been a resident of Miami, Florida since 2016 where he acts and directs regionally while working full time as the Director of Theatre at Palmer Trinity School. He is also the creator and Executive Director of Miami Theatre Works, Miami’s newest summer theater company. Previously he lived in Milwaukee and Chicago where he directed and choreographed over thirty productions in eight years and was a five time winner of the Wisconsin Musical Theater Competition for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Direction. He was also the creator and Executive Director of Community Theatre Works, one of Milwaukee’s largest educational summer theatre programs today. In the last eighteen years he has performed, directed and choreographed over seventy productions with theater organizations all over the world including Split Stage Productions in Pittsburgh, Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln, Dream Big in Chicago, Interlakes Summer Theatre in New Hampshire and ShangKat in Shanghai. When not directing Michael performs nationally. Favorite credits include: Jeff in Title of Show, (Miami Theatre Works), Albin in La Cage Aux Folles, (Interlakes Summer Theatre), Jerry in The Full Monty, (GCT), Lord Farquaad in Shrek, (ETC), Dr. Madden in Next to Normal, (GCT), Jamie in The Last Five Years, (All In Productions), Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q, (Split Stage Productions and GCT) and Leo Frank in Parade (GCT). michaeldavidstoddard.com
RYAN STAJMIGER, Henry, has been acting professionally for the past decade, primarily in the Chicago and Milwaukee area. He will be reprising his role of Henry, which he performed in the 2013 Greendale Community Theater production with Joe, Michael and Kat. He has also appeared in a movie, Captive, which was delayed by COVID but now is in post production. Here’s a list of some of the shows he has done over the past several years - https://www.abouttheartists.com/artists/422596-ryan-stajmiger
DOMINIC SEIPENKO, Gabe, joins the cast from just outside of Detroit, Michigan, where he leads a software sales team by day and performs throughout SE Michigan as an actor and vocalist by night. He is excited to be returning to the role of Gabe, which he performed alongside Tallie and Joe back in 2018 at the Croswell Opera House. Favorite past credits include Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mark in Rent, and Ted in Bonnie & Clyde.
DAVID CLAYPOOLE, Stage director, who moved to Puerto Rico in 2017 and founded Claypoole Executive Search (an executive recruiting firm in the hedge fund space and Act 20 Company), is also a founder of LimPiaR (https://limpiar.org/), a Non-profit devoted to cleaning up local beaches as well as educating children and families on the importance of the areas waterways for a healthy eco-system. As a member of LimPiaR’s board, he is integral to fund raising in the 20/22/60 community. David has produced and directed numerous musical theater productions in the New York tri-state area and is the author of two one-act musicals and a passion play. He is also the founder/artistic director of two successful companies – the Berkley Light Opera Company and Virtual Light Opera Company - former president of the Richmond Theater Collection and Artistic Director of the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.
DAVID RAINS, Musical Director, is an Adrian, Michigan based multi-instrumentalist, music director, and arranger who is thrilled to be working with Joe Nolan, Tallie Kissinger, and Dominic Seipenko on N2N again, but this time in paradise! Originally from Detroit, Dave studied music at Adrian College and has had a second home over the past 20 years at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian while being involved with nearly 150 musical theatre productions. A free-lance musician for many years, he currently serves as a church music director and lives in Adrian with his wife of 27 years, Brooke.
NAN MANDES (Production Manager) was raised in Puerto Rico and moved to the States as a teen. She came for a visit in 2020 and decided to make Puerto Rico her home. Back in NJ she collaborated with the American Theater Group on: A Small Town Story, Tell Them I’m Still Young, Till - The Emmet Till Story and Bridges of Madison County. A video producer for over 25 years, Nan has produced videos for Pfizer, SONY, Disney, BlizzCon, Verizon, Google, the Discovery Channel and the Emmy-nominated PBS series “Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure.” Live theater has always had a special place in Nan’s heart and she is thrilled to be a part of Next to Normal at the historic Teatro Tapia. She is so happy to be able to continue to pursue her passion in her beautiful island. Love to Spencer, Tatum and Ollie-bear!