Next to Normal

August 29 – Sept. 3, 2017

Tickets on sale until September 3, 2017
Dates & Times

  • August 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
  • August 30, 2017 - 8:00pm
  • August 31, 2017 - 8:00pm
  • September 1, 2017 - 8:00pm
  • September 2, 2017 - 8:00pm
  • September 3, 2017 - 2:00pm

Ticket Price



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Wagon Wheel Theatre

Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal explores how a suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.

Meet the Cast

Mike Cefalo
Mike Cefalo



Mike is thrilled to make his Wagon Wheel debut! Now based in NYC, Mike is a recent graduate of the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre program. Regional: Bring It On: The Musical (Randall) at Beck Center for the Arts, Singin’ in the Rain (Cosmo Brown) at Park Playhouse, The Addams Family (Lucas) at Forestburgh Playhouse, Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) at Sewickley Theatre Company, and Saturday Night Fever (Gus) at Playhouse Square. Many thanks and love to the cast, crew, and creative team here at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts. Thank you Mom, Dad, Tia, Danny, and the entire Cefalo/DiStazio extravaganza. Instagram: @mikecef. Twitter: @mike_cef. For more, check out

Keaton Eckhoff
Keaton Eckhoff

Gabe Goodman


Keaton Eckhoff is a recent musical theater graduate of the Tom Hanks endorsed BFA Program at Wright State University.  Keaton is a singer, dancer and actor with regional theatre credits including BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Lumiere), HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (Bud Frump), GREASE (Kenickie), THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Lucas Beineke), WEST SIDE STORY (Action), LITTLE WOMEN (Laurie), THE LITTLE MERMAID (Scuttle), and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Snout). Keaton is also a singer/songwriter and musician (guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin and piano) and just released his original debut album, QUESTIONS OF A YOUNG MIND, a diverse and unrestricted mix of acoustic, folk, beat box and jazz.

Kira Lace Hawkins

Diana Goodman


Kira Lace Hawkins is so thankful to be back for another summer season at the Wagon Wheel!  Favorite credits at the Wheel include Hello, Dolly! (Dolly Levi), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), and Legally Blonde (Paulette).  Favorite regional credits include Cabaret (Sally Bowles) with Theater Latte Da and The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown) with Frank Theatre, both in Minneapolis.  She studied music and theater at St. Olaf College and holds an MFA in Acting from Penn State University.  Kira also directs and teaches at Manchester University and teaches acting classes and directs Wagon Wheel Jr. performances.  Thanks to her Minnesota family, her Indiana family, husband Zachary, and daughter Nila.

Riley McFarland

Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden


This spring, Riley McFarland graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan.  He is extremely excited to begin his post-graduate career at the Wagon Wheel!  His previous roles include Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific at Summer Repertory Theatre, Freddy in My Fair Lady at the Encore Musical Theatre Company, and Feldzieg in The Drowsy Chaperone at the University of Michigan.

Laura Plyler
Laura Plyler

Natalie Goodman


Laura Plyler is a Florida State alum and third year returning Wagon Wheel-er. She is so grateful to be playing one of her dream roles & even more glad to be back with the family!

David Schlumpf
David Schlumpf

Dan Goodman


DAVID SCHLUMPF (Dan) is honored and over the moon to be back at WWCA performing a dream role. He was last seen at Wagon Wheel swinging from the rafters as Hart in 9 to 5 but other favorite roles include Billy Flynn (Chicago), Charles (Blythe Spirit), Corny Collins (Hairspray), and Lord Farquaad (Shrek) to name a few. David made Chicago his theatrical home for eight years, performing at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Sense and Sensibility), The Paramount (The Who’s Tommy), and The Goodman (Dartmoor Prison), among others. He now lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner and is exploring his new theatrical home. Many thanks to Scott and Jen for making this dream come true. Here’s to normalizing conversations about mental health in our country…or at least next to normalizing.