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Normal Stories Part VI - A Note from the Director of Next to Normal

Here is our next installment in the Normal Stories series in conjunction with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we thank you. The sixth installment is a note from the Director of Next to Normal, Adrienne Boris. 
A Note from the Director
I struggle with anxiety. Although I am what’s called a “high functioning” sufferer, I am no stranger to panic attacks, sleepless nights, and the occasional bout of medication to help get me through difficult times. I don’t talk about it often because I don’t want people to think that I am not capable or responsible, so it is a cross I bear relatively silently. Of course, my condition is…

Normal Stories Part V - Embrace What is Hindering You and Use it Like a Superpower

Here is our next installment in the Normal Stories series in conjunction with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we now are excited to facilitate a greater conversation. Here is the fifth in a series of many stories we will share in the coming weeks. Cassie is the Stage Manager of Next to Normal and has been involved with several AAH Seasons. Here is her story...


Cassie's Story

My name is Cassandra Murkison, but most people call me Cassie. I work full time as well as find work in the theater world when I can. I went to college for theater, and although I focused in acting, since leaving school I’ve been mostly findi…

Normal Stories Part IV - Not Some Kind of Rare Condition

Here is our next installment in the Normal Stories series in conjunction with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we now are excited to facilitate a greater conversation. Here is the fourth in a series of many stories we will share in the coming weeks. Sarah is a Lynn resident and has a consulting business based in Downtown Lynn. Sarah was last seen on the Arts After Hours' stage during our Christmas Charcuterie and was also in Evil Dead, the Musical and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


Sarah's Story My name is Sarah Jackson. I run my own consulting business and am a very proud wife and mom!

I have an…

Normal Stories - Part III - Never Be Afraid to Be You

Here is our next installment in the Normal Stories series in conjunction with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we now are excited to facilitate a greater conversation. Here is the third in a series of many stories we will share in the coming weeks. Joe is a teacher and musician from Lynn, MA. Here is his story.



Joe's Story

My Name is Joe Skahan. I am a 35 year old special education teacher from Lynn, MA. Currently I am employed with the Lynn Public Schools at the Fecteau-Leary Jr/Sr alternative on North Common St, working on the therapeutic behavioral program. At Fecteau, I teach Biology, Marine Biology, and 7th …

Normal Stories - Part II - Before They Knew What It Was

Here is our next installment in the Normal Stories series in conjunction with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we now are excited to facilitate a greater conversation. Here is the second of a series of many stories we will share in the coming weeks. Linda has been a faithful patron and supporter of the arts in Downtown Lynn. Here story comes from a time in her life when the world knew so much less about mental health.



Linda's Story

My name is Linda Sullivan. I do not have any diagnosed mental illness, yet my mother was Bipolar before they knew what it was. Growing up was a challenge to say the least, but I beli…

Normal Stories - Part 1 - Smile, Say Hello, and Get the Conversation Started

Over the next month and a half, Arts After Hours is going to be publishing content here in connection with our production of Next to Normal, running June 1-June 17.  The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning family drama is about a woman dealing with mental illness, and the impact the struggle within her own mind has on her entire family.

We have asked patrons, artists, friends, and family to share their stories, their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on their daily and family life. So many of you have shared and we now are ready to begin our conversation. Here is the first of a series of many stories we will share in the coming weeks. Laura's story is a great starting point for us. She is also the amazing volunteer who has collected many of your stories to get them ready for this blog. A true advocate and champion of getting these stories heard and ever hopeful that we can crush the stigma and begin talking more openly about mental illness:


Laura's Story

My name is Laura Sanscar…