Now even our plays are multitasking. But along the way it also makes the case that ADD is an apt metaphorical diagnosis for our times. And how does that affect our personal relationships? Now onstage at the Central Square Theater in an Underground Railway production, the play is a comedy. But for many, the laughs may be of chastened recognition. The doctors blame everything from vaccinations to food additives to environmental toxins.
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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Distracted - Acting Edition by Lisa Loomer. Book annotation not available for this title. Get A Copy. Paperback , 72 pages. Published December 31st by Dramatists Play Service. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Distracted - Acting Edition , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Distracted - Acting Edition. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of Distracted - Acting Edition. Aug 31, Matt Chan rated it liked it. Essentially a play about the complexity of raising a child with ADHD.
The humor is very effective, but the "serious" and dramatic part of the play is a little uneven; sometimes it's effective and sometimes it falls flat with me. Lots of breaking the 4th wall, which I like but might not have universal appeal.
The ending of the play kind of just "happens" not a lot gets resolved but ends on a little hopeful note. My main complained is that I think the Dad character really got off easy, a little un Essentially a play about the complexity of raising a child with ADHD.
My main complained is that I think the Dad character really got off easy, a little unsatisfying I think. Oct 20, Briana rated it did not like it Recommends it for: no one. Shelves: garbage. As someone who has spent years dealing with mental health issues, this play is easily one of the most offensive things I've ever read.
It seems to take the position that mental illness is simply a cause of being too "distracted," a product of the modern world and all the stimulation it offers. Medication is seen as a detriment and a cause for more problems, such as when Jesse in Act Two is described as "rather like a zombie" or when he says "It makes me feel like I've got bugs inside!
It's implied that the panic attack he has about the fire drill is a direct result of the drugs and not part of his condition that was heightened by them, as the doctor explains is common. Mama asks if having to take drugs makes kids depressed, and Dad even goes so far as to say he'll divorce Mama if she continues to keep Jesse on drugs.
This is despite Dr. Karnes "breaking character" to go on the record about how much Ritalin has helped. If this is an argument about not medicating children with mental illnesses or learning disabilities, it's not a good one.
The end of this play seems to imply that attention and love from two caring parents is enough to solve any problems caused by mental illness which is empirically not the case. This is reenforced by the tragedy that is Natalie. When her bipolar disorder and cutting get out of control, she's shipped to Utah to what is essentially a prison by parents who are clearly anguished over the decision but who have been shown to be "distracted.
Even when she finally gets the attention she'd wanted, it's too late. While it's true that attention early on in her problems may have made it easier to get help, the position taken by this play seems to be one of two things: medication causes mental health problems like with Jesse or medication doesn't actually help mental health problems like with Natalie. I think that in the context of the play, nothing would have helped her.
The only positive thing I saw in Act Two was the position the play took on the "anti-vaxxer" movement, where Mama choosing to not vaccinate Jesse was seen as insane and unsafe. The lack of vaccination of children in recent years has caused a significant spike in the spread of infectious diseases like whooping cough, so it was nice to see "Distracted" take at least one reasonable stance on medical treatment.
Jul 05, Kelsey rated it it was ok. This play tackles a modern issue- ADHD, the true clinical disorder, but also the idea of our society itself contributing to people unable to concentrate. What is normal in today's society? When do we need to turn to drugs and at what cost? The problem is the play really hits you over the head with the themes, like all the major distractions in society. It also creates some shallow and somewhat stereotypical characters- the pro-pill popping neighbor, the homeopathic doctor who thinks cutting out This play tackles a modern issue- ADHD, the true clinical disorder, but also the idea of our society itself contributing to people unable to concentrate.
It also creates some shallow and somewhat stereotypical characters- the pro-pill popping neighbor, the homeopathic doctor who thinks cutting out wheat will cure ADHD, the exhausted teacher who just wants the kid to sit still at any cost, and the dad who insists 'boys will be boys.
And the play does a good job of showing how a parent could easily be overwhelmed with the information coming at them from all angles. Jun 27, Kelly rated it liked it. Overall, it was a good play, but I think there were a number of problems with it.
My biggest complaint was with the character with OCD. Everyone else gets a moment to be taken seriously, but she remains the laughing stock throughout the entire play and her depiction was actually somewhat offensive to me. Mar 26, Mimi Grant rated it really liked it. I am cast in this play as Sherry. Rehearsals will not start until summer. I am so excited and cannot wait to begin work on this production.
I have to finish "West Side Story", then "Distracted" will commence! Sep 04, Sarah rated it liked it. Most of the story and ideas are good, but the ending might be a bit of a cop out Great characters. Jan 03, Michael rated it really liked it. Matches the distress of ADHD with a distressing style. Interesting but the end trivializes the setup. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Lisa Loomer. Lisa Loomer.
Books by Lisa Loomer. Fall in Love with These June Romances. Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts throug Read more Trivia About Distracted - Acti No trivia or quizzes yet.
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Lisa Loomer’s ‘Distracted’ diagnoses our society’s ADD
Mama tries to meditate every morning. But her cellphone is always ringing. And before you know it, her young son, Jesse, is awake — and Jesse demands a lot of attention. This is a deceptively basic staging.
To Medicate, or Not to Medicate?
Much like 9-year-old Jesse Matthew Gumley , a boy who's heard but not seen for most of Lisa Loomer's new play at Roundabout Theatre Company, Distracted suffers from ADHD—attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—flitting from moment to moment and from style to style at an almost dizzying rate. Loomer is telling a potentially deeply moving tale, but in director Mark Brokaw's well-observed yet somewhat frenetic staging, audiences may find themselves as overwhelmed as Jesse's mom. When the play opens, Mama played with radiant intensity by Cynthia Nixon has already begun to realize something's wrong with her son. Because his overworked teacher Aleta Mitchell has expressed concerns, Mama and Dad an overwrought Josh Stamberg have had Jesse observed by a psychologist Natalie Gold , who believes he's suffering from an anxiety disorder. Still, she recommends that he be tested by a neuropsychologist, who diagnoses ADHD and suggests medical treatment. Dad, who has his own concentration issues, balks at putting his son on Ritalin, yet Mama persists. When Jesse turns into a zombie on the drug, Dad threatens divorce, which leads the family to New Mexico in search of alternative treatments.