The PsychSIG at UCLA attended showings of Next to Normal (Dec 9th at the Ahmanson Theatre) and Flying Without Wings (Dec 12th at Laemmle Theater). A follow-up discussion session with UCLA faculty was also organized to discuss bipolar disorder as presented in Next to Normal. Click on images below for more info about the shows.

Next to Normal is a rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life.

With his whole life before him, 25-year-old national tennis champion and aspiring young surgeon, Arnold Beisser, was struck down by Polio. Family, friends, colleagues and Arnold himself tell this inspiring journey of loss, acceptance, triumph and love – how he became a pioneer in sports psychology, UCLA Clinical Professor Psychiatry, leader in the community mental health movement, Gestalt trainer, and best-selling author.