Sunday, July 22, 2007


After dinner at Pasta Piati, a stroll along Main Street and a shared pre-theater ice cream, we saw a play in Ashland this evening -- and it was about as far from Elizabethan Shakespeare as you can get.

"Distracted" is a modern play about our connected, digitized, modern life. We live at a hyper-pace, competing in an incessant hyper-race, and when our kids are diagnosed with 21st century "diseases" like ADD, we rush out to "cure" them. The play is about a well-meaning, well-educated mom who wants to help her son who has been diagnosed with ADD. The father, who very obviously is completely ADD himself, objects to treatment, urging that his son just be allowed to "be a boy." While hilariously funny in places, the play was also exceptionally poignant -- especially because it hit so close to home for me, with both Aleks and Peter being INCORRECTLY diagnosed with ADD, and with Tom definitely having numerous signs of it, but never having been diagnosed.

While the actors and the production were excellent (I especially liked the actors' acknowledged awareness of themselves as actors), I left with some burning questions:

Jesse, the kid in the play, is an only child of a stay-at-home mom whose only apparent job is to find a way to help her son. But what about ADD (or just "different") kids who have busy working moms and siblings who tend towards torment and make life tough for them?

And, while it's obvious that the author of Distracted, Lisa Loomer, is anti-medication for these kids, what about the kid whose life is vastly IMPROVED by medications that allow them to feel calm and balanced and present? And happy -- finally? The "evil" is sometimes the withholding of medication, not the dispensing of it. This point of view was only ridiculed in the play, not given its fair due, as I believe it should have.

I wish there had been some sort of forum after the play for people to spend 20 minutes or so discussing the play's impact -- which was obviously intense. (One teen was left sobbing, her head buried against her father's shoulder as we left.) That would have nicely continued the theme of involving the audience in the production!

On Tuesday we'll do the backstage tour, which Lou has never been on, in spite of living in Ashland for over 10 years! On Wednesday, I'll have coffee at Bloomsbury Books with FayeGail Basaccia, author of Dancing in my Mother's Slippers. And on Thursday, at least one of Lou's three sons will arrive in Ashland before everyone else, including my family, arrives on Friday.

The rest of the time I intend to "relax with purpose." That is, I intend to let my mind calm down and let go of enough panic so that I can be open to whatever else my life is trying to tell me -- and I do believe that it's screaming at me. I just can't make out exactly what it's trying to say quite yet because there's been so much self-inflicted noise.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

Rositta said...

I'm pretty sure I have ADD, that's probably why I have 50 projects started and put away for another day. In the 50's this was an illness on no one's horizon. My one grandson has it and his mother wouldn't allow medication for him...he is fine now though...ciao

Related Posts with Thumbnails