Ethan Halpern

Site in Production. 


Next to Normal, a rock musical, explores a family struggling with the impacts of mental illness. I wanted to experiment with changing the design format of the script to see how graphic interventions could provide a new way to experience the show. I wanted to preserve the traditional aspects of a script, while graphically expanding on those norms.

In the show there are many similarities between the mother, Diana, and her daughter Natalie. They experience similar, yet very different life experiences and mental health struggles. In my work the black lines represent Diana’s chaotic world while blue circles represent Natalie’s. Yellow squares represent the memories Diana is grappling with, while pink represents her dead son’s (Gabe) influence on the family.