THE STORY: What's wrong with nine-year-old Jesse? He can't sit still, he curses, he raps, and you can't get him into--or out of--pajamas. His teacher thinks it's Attention Deficit Disorder. Dad says, He's just a boy! And Mama's on a quest for answe
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A very underated play. When done right, its incredible. The other two reviews are from people who clearly don't understand what its about (and I don't even think one of them has actually read the script/seen a production). I'm going to address what the previous two said and explain what they don't understand about Distracted.
Distracted is about a nine year old named Jesse who has adhd (and is basically me when I was nine). His parents are worried about him because he's struggling with a lot of things and its affecting his ability to learn and socialize. He also has generalized anxiety disorder. The school wants the parents to medicate him and the rest is about all the things his parents are trying to do to help him and how it affects him, and the parents debating whether what they're doing is really the right thing to do, to medicate their child to fit into a system that is unforgiving, to drug him so he lives up to standards that are high and unfair.
The first reviewer knows absolutely nothing about the play or what its about. He says that none of the characters are relatable and he's right, in the same way that nazis can't relate to a movie about a group of jews during the Holocaust. This guy needs to speak for himself. The main characters are all very relatable but only to people who have been in similar situations. Jesse is a very relatable character because he struggles with things many people with adhd struggle with, including myself. And thats just one example. Even if you can't relate, you can still sympathize with them. Another thing he says is that anyone with a mental disorder won't enjoy it. Distracted is not about mental disorders in any way. Its largely about adhd, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a mental disorder you bigot. The last thing he says that shows he clearly doesn't understand the play is that it "Misses the point by not having smartphones play a role." I think he thinks Distracted is about how we live in a world full of distractions, which is not true at all. Distracted is about a child struggling with adhd and ged and how his parents are trying to help him but debate with themselves if what they're doing is the right thing. Also, Distracted came out in 2009 when smartphones were still pretty new, and the ongoing debate of how big a distraction smartphones are is more recent.
The second reviewer said that it tries to appeal to a younger audience. That is as far from the truth as you can get. One of the big themes of Distracted is whether or not its ok to give children drugs if it means controlling their disorders. Theres also a notable amount of swearing, although not that much and theres a scene where parents have sex loud enough to wake up their nine year old son and the mom makes a joke about blowjobs. Jesse also swears the most out of all the characters (which still isn't that much) and he's only nine years old. He doesn't do it to be funny, he does it because his adhd gives him poor impulse control. If having sex and drugs and swearing its appealing to younger audiences, then by that logic the Disney channel should be airing South Park and Family Guy while Cartoon Network airs porn. And he says its inaccurate, which I can say as someone who basically went through everything that happens when I was Jesse's age, is just not true.
Distracted is an amazing show when its done right. Its funny and thought provoking and can be enjoyed by anyone who doesn't have the IQ of a brain dead duck who's had a whole frontal lobotomy and just smoked a pound of weed. Something that clearly doesn't apply to some people.
Insultingly pandering. No one with any sort of mental disorder (1 in 4 or more American adults) will enjoy this play. Not one character is truly relatable, and the story is therefore difficult to care about. Misses the point entirely by not having smartphones play a role - should be updated for 2016 if anyone wants to put on a production, though I don't know why you would. Skip this one.