In the new theatre production “Distracted,” held by Carroll Community College’s Theatre program, a young boy named Jesse is facing problems in school and at home, and his mother is faced with the daunting reality that her son might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This realization comes after many mornings of attempted meditation, interrupted by Jesse waking and yelling loudly.
In a lot of ways, Jesse is a normal child, though he is hyper, uncooperative, unruly, and occasionally acts as a thorn in everyone’s side. Jesse is disliked by his teachers and fellow students at school, and nothing his mother does seems to help.
While Mama struggles to understand what is going on with her son, Dad is absolutely oblivious. He refuses to acknowledge the existence of any problem with his son. Mama seeks advice from every social worker, therapist, doctor, and teacher that she can think of, and eventually both Dad and Mamma accept the difficult truth that Jesse has ADHD. Both parents struggle with the idea of giving Jessie any sort of drugs. After all, what sort of parent drugs their child? This is the question that runs through Mama’s head over and over again. Eventually, she decides that it could be the only answer to Jesse’s problems. After many different kinds of prescriptions, second opinions, trials, and treatments, Mom and Dad are both struggling with their marriage, and Jesse is more miserable than ever. Mama begins to wonder: Is there a difference between having a disorder and having the mind of a child? In the end, Mama decides that the best thing that she could do with her son is let him be the child he is supposed to be.
This play is about the difficulties that a mother faces while raising a child. It is about the questions a mother asks herself while dealing with a child’s problem: Am I raising my child correctly? What am I doing wrong? Is there actually something wrong with my child, or is he just a little different?
“Distracted” confronts the problems with today’s diagnoses and treatment of children and adults with disorders, and the fine line between what makes a person different, and what is a medical issue.
The first showing of Distracted will be held on Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 PM in the Scott’s Center at Carroll Community College. The production will feature a post-show Talk Back with cast and invited experts. The other showings will be Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 PM, and Sunday March 2 at 2 PM. General admission will be $10. Admission for senior adults over the age of 65, faculty, staff, and students with ID will be $5.