Next to Normal Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Brian Yorkey
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Diana make a huge pile of before collapsing on the floor in Act 1, Scene 1?

2. From what mental illness does the protagonist of Next to Normal suffer?

3. Who does Diana comment was as "high-spirited" as she is when speaking with her new doctor in Act 1, Scene 8?

4. What song does Dan sing as he tidies up in Act 1, Scene 11?

5. Who played the character of Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden in the original Broadway cast of Next to Normal?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Dr. Madden reveal after Diana's song in Act 1, Scene 10? What treatment does he suggest?

2. Describe the central themes in Next to Normal. What does the story of the play revolve around?

3. What takes place at the family dinner in Act 1, Scene 5?

4. Describe the symbolic and metaphoric elements in Act 1, Scenes 10 and 11. What object becomes important in these scenes and why?

5. What is revealed about the character of Gabe in Act 1, Scenes 4 and 5?

6. What song does Dan sing to Diana about their son in Act 1, Scene 5? What does the song reveal?

7. What does Gabe sing with Natalie about in Act 1, Scene 7?

8. What are Henry and Natalie doing in Act 1, Scene 4? Who watches them?

9. What songs are sung by the doctor and Gabe in Act 1, Scene 9? What do they describe?

10. What is sung about and by whom in the songs "Who's Crazy" / "My Psychopharmacologist and I"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the musical elements, structure and terms in Act 1, Scene 1. How are the music and dialogue intercut and what effect does this have on the reader/audience?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss use of drug treatment for bipolar disorder and the role that the drugs play in the musical. How does Diana feel when she is medicated?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss the symbolic and metaphorical elements in Act 1, Scene 10. How does this scene illustrate the suicide attempt of the protagonist in a creative way?

(see the answer keys)

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