Message from the Artistic Director: Distracted

Posted on: February 6th, 2009 by Todd Haimes

I am so proud to be presenting the New York premiere Lisa Loomer's fantastic play, Distracted. When it comes to new plays, I am always looking for a piece with true ambition, the kind of piece that raises questions that will stay with you long after the play has ended. What I find to be especially dazzling about Distracted is that it gets you talking about a topic that so many of us encounter in our everyday lives but, ironically, never take the time to address – Attention Deficit Disorder. More and more parents are finding themselves faced with children who have been diagnosed with ADD, and the question of how to treat them has no easy answers. In Lisa’s play, we watch the character of “Mama” try to make her way through the maze of doing right by her son in funny, frustrating, sad, and all-too-familiar ways. When the facts are anything but black and white, how can you know if you’re making the right decision?

What’s particularly unique about Distracted is that the play itself seems to have ADD in its DNA. Lisa plays on the fact that our children are far from being the only ones who lack focus. In a wired society in which driving, listening to music, and talking on the phone at the same time would hardly qualify as multitasking, are we ever giving any one task the attention it deserves? Mark Brokaw ( Suddenly Last Summer, The Constant Wife), who I am so happy to have back at Roundabout directing this play, has explained this situation as a battle to allow yourself simply to be present. On our computer screens, we are able to jump from one page to another, minimizing the topics that we don’t want to face at the moment, but we forget how quickly things can collect and build up. How do we set it all aside?

I’m so pleased that the great Cynthia Nixon (who last appeared on our stage in The Women) is returning to the Roundabout for this play in the role of “Mama.” In addition to being one the great stage actresses of her generation, Cynthia, a mother herself, also has an innate empathy that I think will be a huge asset in this role. I know that she and the rest of the talented cast and designers will do great work in bringing this play to life.

I hope that you will be engaged by the questions asked by this play and that you will fall for these characters as I did.

I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

Todd Haimes

Related Categories:
2008-2009 Season, Distracted

  1. joyce goldman

    February 13, 2009

    “dazzling” is a great word for this wonderful production. Creatively staged, wonderfully cast & acted – fabulously written – great set.

    I was exhilirated after the first act, excited to experience live theater at its best…and moved to tears at the closing scene.

    This is probably the best show I have seen at roundabout in 2 years, and I hope it gets the rave reviews it deserves.

  2. Marie K. Wilson

    February 14, 2009

    A delightful, inventively staged, play about an important topic that was enjoyable, and both laugh- and thought-provoking from start to finish. I urge ALL parents to see it!

  3. Jan Baybusky

    February 21, 2009

    This was a terrific show. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but it had plenty of laughs and at the same time, made you think about the dilemma of a parent of an ADD child. The set was wonderful – not all computerized graphics that we see so much of today.

  4. Sheree

    March 4, 2009

    I saw this last night—this is a very brave show, so poignant and thought provoking. Bravo, Roundabout, for sharing this play with your audience. The entire cast is wonderful.

  5. esperansa collier

    March 19, 2009

    March 19, 2009
    I can not wait till it come to Sacramento, CA the reviews are great. I too have a ADHA child of 13 years old. And, I know it will open my eyes to further help him with his behavorial. I love him so much. Thanks for listening to all of us.

  6. Rosemary Nugent

    March 25, 2009

    I very much enjoyed this show. If nothing else it was meaningful to me as a Speech therapist having been involved with ADHA students
    over the years. And, I was particularly sympathetic with the overall attitude of the show. The cast was great.



Thank you for your comment. Please note that our comments are moderated and do not appear immediately.