UAMS Hosts Tony Award-Winning Musical Drama “Next to Normal” May 15 at Arkansas Repertory Theatre

By Nate Hinkel

Tickets are $40, which includes a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., dessert during intermission, and a question-and-answer session with members of the Psychiatric Research Institute’s faculty following the performance. To order tickets, call Cary Wilson at (501) 526-8100.

“Next to Normal” is an entertaining and insightful look at bipolar disorder, a serious and often misunderstood medical condition that affects more than 2.5 million adults in this country.

A winner of three Tony Awards in 2009, “Next to Normal” also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, only the eighth musical to receive that honor. But it was not those distinctions that drew the University of Arkansas’ Psychiatric Research Institute to the work but its central theme, that of a family coping with the mental illness of one of its members.

“The play revolves around a mother who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a very real and serious problem not only in Arkansas but throughout the United States,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., director of the Psychiatric Research Institute.

“We understand the problems this can cause within a family and hope the play will encourage a lot of people in similar circumstances to openly discuss these issues. We at the Psychiatric Research Institute are very proud to be partnering with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre on this very important performance of a very special play.”

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or