The lights dim and we flip our give attention to the eating desk. A purple eating desk with a set of mismatched chairs of pink and blue sits middle stage. The mom, Diana, stands within the kitchen when her son, Gabe, enters the door. Her daughter, Natalie, brushes previous them, ignoring Gabe’s “Good morning.” We hear the footsteps of their father, Dan, making his solution to the kitchen as Diana tells Gabe, “Be sure your father doesn’t see you.”
Whilst this seems to be an atypical residence, the proper household is about to interrupt.
The Asian American Theater Challenge’s (AATP) manufacturing of “subsequent to regular” was an exciting musical that drew out uncooked and emotional performances from the actors. It depicted the story of a household preventing for a “regular” life as a mom mourns the loss of life of her son, whom she hallucinates to be round; a father struggles to maintain the home’s ceiling from collapsing; and a daughter balances between presenting as an ideal baby and making an attempt to flee a neglectful residence.
In accordance with themes of healthcare, therapeutic and complexities of affection, the present weaved by way of experiences of reminiscence and the ache of the previous. For one, it’s regularly revealed that Gabe (JC Chien ’23) just isn’t an lively member of the household — he died of a illness that went unnoticed.
The solid was phenomenal, including their very own experiences to assist embody the characters. They did it in a approach that was relatable and comical, whereas nonetheless presenting the intense points in a approach that was simple to know. The efficiency was in sync, clearly exhibiting the connection between the solid members. Actually, the method and the group that got here collectively to create this present have been as necessary as the end result.
In a single scene, Diana (Sheruni Pilapitiya ’26) begins to query her previous after shedding her reminiscence as a result of electroconvulsive remedy, questioning who she just isn’t remembering. She picks up a music field and the lights dim, focusing all consideration on her. The ensemble performs a tender, twinkling melody and Diana slowly remembers the lacking member of her household. The lighting and music made for an immersive second permitting us to place into perspective what we have to see and what we shouldn’t and making us really feel feelings with out telling us. The second teaches us which you could take away a reminiscence, however you may by no means erase the previous and the impression it had.
Themes of holding on to the previous, discovering your self and being let loose are current all through the present.
For example, Natalie depends on accomplishments to achieve visibility from her inattentive dad and mom. Her dedication to piano and training is a solution to appear regular regardless of the tragedy the household goes by way of. It turns into clear by the tip of the play that her give attention to perfection is definitely part of her grief for Gabe, one thing she by no means knew however was all the time there.
It impacts her relationships together with her dad and mom in addition to her love curiosity Henry (Josh Tikare ’26). Tikare’s portrayal of Henry gave a heartwarming efficiency contradicting the household’s agonizing loss together with his optimism.
Diana was a illustration of the household’s flaws; she was divided between actuality and fantasy, inflicting her psyche to fracture and get misplaced within the areas between. For example, Diana buys a cake one night for Gabe’s birthday, forgetting that he’s gone. Dan (Robert Castaneros ’24) seats her down and reminds her that Gabe is not right here. That’s when Gabe — Diana’s imaginative and prescient — and Dan break into track to a spectacular efficiency of “You don’t know,” the track being a battle between Diana’s husband and son preventing for her consideration and love. Their highly effective vocals encapsulated the feelings of the characters, permitting the viewers to really really feel what they did.
This scene was considered one of Diana’s breakdowns, and Pilapitiya realized the feelings the character was feeling together with her expressions and tone of voice. The actor mentioned she needed to spotlight this significant journey of having the ability to “discover all these items that resonate with so many individuals.”
Concerning his position, Chien needed to say how unimaginable it was “having the ability to be in an area the place [you] join with all people on a heartfelt psychological degree.”
Celio spoke about how superb it was to place herself within the sneakers of those characters and determine “what elements of ourselves we’re bringing into [them].” Tikare introduced assist for her, echoing his character’s illustration of the significance of getting somebody to rely on. On the significance of Henry, he mentioned, “the position itself was troublesome as a result of it [dealt] with critical matters and being a supportive determine for Natalie was necessary … it required maturity to consider my [portrayal] of the character and the way it got here to life.”
By the musical, I can’t assist however see a correlation to how the present resonates with the Asian American group and their struggles, particularly by way of the route of the AATP. Director Chloe Chow ’23 acted as a visionary, placing collectively numerous items of the present and her group to create an unforgettable efficiency.
Chow mentioned she didn’t know a lot about Asian American theater till she got here to Stanford. Nonetheless, in keeping with her director’s be aware, she had a imaginative and prescient of the present she needed to make that included her personal experiences together with her household and the Asian American group, particularly in regard to psychological well being. She additionally mentioned that she needed to reimagine “a well-liked musical to essentially see how Asian American our bodies on stage would have an effect on the best way the viewers creates a story.”
This can be a efficiency that I consider everybody can relate to and be taught from ultimately. We’re all advanced and by no means simply regular. On the finish of the day, aren’t all of us simply subsequent to regular?