Next to Normal: The Thelonious Monk Story will tackle the issues of mental illness as it relates to disparities in health care, police interaction, education, and social acceptance. Not only will we celebrate the musical genius of Thelonious Sphere Monk, but we will explore the pervasive misdiagnosis and discriminatory practices toward him and the societal stigma that plagued his career and continues to carry on in today’s society. We will also celebrate the importance of creative self-expression through the arts and how Monk stood firm to pursue his art without compromise.
On June 12, following the performance, Dr. Gerald Early, Chair of African and African-American Studies at Washington University, will give a talk and Q&A about the life and times of Thelonious Monk. Heather McDonnell, MSW, Outreach Specialist of NAMI-St. Louis will facilitate a panel discussion on living with and overcoming the challenges posed by mental illness.