Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review of Scared of Sarah - A New Play About Autism

Last night NAA NY Metro Chapter President Kim Mack Rosenberg and Vice-President/Treasurer Peggy Becker had the pleasure of attending opening night of Scared of Sarah, a new play about autism (and much more). We were so happy to also catch up with one of our Facebook contest winners, Michele Iallonardi and her husband, Ralph.

(L-R: Peggy, Michele and Ralph)

The cast, Carolyn Daucher, Nate Grams, and Brenna Palughi (as Sarah), did a terrific job in navigating the complex emotions of the play, written by Laura Brienza. The play makes you laugh and cry, as the characters confront issues not just about autism but also about marriage, children, siblings, parent
s, careers - life!

(Laura Brienza and Kim)

Sarah is a complex character. She is an attractive woman who has just turned 30 as the play opens. She has autism and has a job as a conductor on New Jersey Transit. She appears "typical" in many respects, compounds the emotional, sensory and other challenges of autism she faces in the workplace and in her social and family life. Is Sarah like our children? Yes and no. We both noted some similarities and many differences between our children and the character of Sarah, but that is part of what makes autism so complex - no two people with autism are the same. We did not expect Sarah to be exactly like our children (who are different from each other too!). The play does a good job of balancing the complexities of autism - featuring a young woman who largely functions in society but might meltdown if the wrong brand of peanut butter is purchased. Is everyone with autism like that? No. But some are. Scared of Sarah makes no attempt to speak for all people with autism. It is a snapshot of one character and the complexities of her life and the lives of those around her.

There are still four more showings of Scared of Sarah as part of FringeNYC If you can make the time to head to the Lower East Side over the next few days, do try to see the play.
FYI, this is a play for grown ups and is not appropriate for young children. There is some strong and suggestive language.

SATURDAY 8/13 @ 7:45
SUNDAY 8/14 @ 12:00
MON 8/15 @ 6:45
WED 8/17 @ 7:45

La Mama First Floor Theatre
74A East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Astor Pl/Bleeker St., N/R to 8th St.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door

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