News & Events

Fox Country Players to Perform “Next to Normal”

Eliseo Martinez, Lori Skubich, Mitchell Kinn during a recent dress rehearsal for “Next to Normal.”

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education department and the Fox Country Players will present “Next to Normal” this month. Performances take place at 7 p.m. April 15 and 16 and 2 p.m. on April 17 at the Waubonsee Sugar Grove Campus Auditorium, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

With music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, the play is the winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score, and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. The play was also chosen as "one of the year's 10 best shows" by critics around the country. The rock musical tells the story of a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, and the impact that illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such heavy issues grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in psychiatry and suburban life. 

Fox Country Players, founded in 1979, is a community theatre group based out of Yorkville that is dedicated to excellence in theatre education and performance in the Fox Valley Community.

Director Patrick Stinson said Fox Country Players chose this show because of the message and topic.

“Mental illness is taboo in our society and with the rash of shootings that have been blamed on people needing help, and with so many people suffering from depression, we wanted to do a show that reaches out to that community and shows the that there is light,” he said.

Stinson, of Oswego, said the play features a talented cast of six, with two understudies. That cast includes two Waubonsee students, Ryan Drendel, of North Aurora, in the role of Henry, and Hannah Zepeda, of Batavia, as understudy in the role of Natalie. The rest of the cast includes: Lori Skubich, of Lombard, playing Diana; Ross Wheeler, of Yorkville, playing Dan; Michell Kinn, of Lisle, playing Gabe; Allison Kasbee, of Naperville, playing Natalie; Eliseo Martinez, of Aurora, playing Dr. Madden, Dr. Fine.

“Of anything I have ever done I want people to see this show, and I have done a lot of shows,” Stinson said.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors (65+). Tickets can be purchased at