About the Musical

MAD! is a new stage musical by Aaron Alon and Russell Sarre, set in a post-apocalyptic world where the crazier you are, the greater your social worth. This musical, at times darkly funny and others deeply tragic, imagines a world markedly different from our own, and yet, surprisingly familiar.


The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the so-called Bible of Psychiatry. In this post-apocalyptic world, all books have been destroyed, but Psychiapriests have managed to assemble from the fragments the complete first and second editions of the DSM (originally published in the 1950s-1960s). In this world, the two volumes of the Deus M, as they call it, are holy texts, where the more diagnoses you have (the madder you are), the higher your caste. Young people are IQ (Insanity Quotient) tested to determine their worth, and if they turn up neurotic, schizoid, or even gay – anything listed in the DSM II, they can raise their social capital.

Project History

2015: Aaron Alon and Russell Sarre start brainstorming ideas for Mad!

June 2016: Aaron completes a first draft of the book and lyrics for Mad!

2016-2020: Aaron & Russell work on composing and revising the book, lyrics, music, and orchestration.

2021-2023: Orchestrations are completed and Aaron and Russell record the concept cast album with fifteen performers selected in a nationwide search.

Support the Project

Contributions to the project will help fund the Concept Cast Recording slated for 2021, as well as other upcoming expenses associated with mounting a full production of Mad!


The Creative Team

The Creative Team Behind MAD!

Aaron Alon, DMA

Aaron Alon, DMA

Book, Music, Lyrics, Arrangements, & Story

Russell Sarre, DMA

Russell Sarre, DMA

Music & Story

About the DSM

The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the so-called Bible of Psychiatry. The first two editions, the DSM and DSM-II were published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952 and 1968 respectively. The DSM-II, the book revered as a holy text in the world of our musical, included ten categories of mental disorders and still included homosexuality. The current edition is the DSM-5™, published in 2013.

Terminology in the Musical

  • Deus M: What the inhabitants of this world call the DSM (see left)
  • IQ Testing: Insanity Quotient Testing, when young people are assessed to see how many diagnoses in the DSM-II they have
  • Menta: An elite society for high IQ (mad) people
  • New Destament: What the inhabitants of this world call the DSM-II
  • Normie: A person with a low IQ (Insanity Quotient)
  • Old Destament: What the inhabitants of this world call the first edition of the DSM
  • Psychiapriest: A person charged with the reassembly of of the DSM texts and with diagnosing people according to the DSM-II through IQ Testing

Get In Touch

Contact the team behind Mad!