“Lucy” By Damien Atkins

By: Damien Atkins
Narrated by: Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty, Raphael Sbarge
Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
Release date: 02-02-10
Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

I have recently found myself exploring books and stories that deal with the human condition in relation to disabilities.  Not sure why this is but it just seems to wind up on my listening/reading list this way.  I’ve gotta get back to my sci-fi reading soon.  Until then I will explore humanity.  This time around the story revolves around autism and how it affects the family.

Never having had to deal with anyone in the spectrum, I really have no point of reference on this.  I do know people with autism and friends with autistic children, but I have never had to experience this first hand.  That being said understand that this review will not consist of how the story addresses autism but rather how the story is told.

One thing to note is that this is an L.A. Theatre Works production and that the performance is beautiful.  The acting and performance as a whole is stellar.  I have never had a bad experience with any LATW production.

Lucy is a 13 year old who has autism.  She has lived all her life with her father but at 13 there are certain things puberty brings that the father doesn’t think he’s capable of handling.  So he leaves Lucy with her mother.  This part of the story was a bit sketchy for me, but it was necessary for the rest of the play to continue.  I just couldn’t see a dad pretty much abandoning his child.  Sure, it was with her mother but the mother was out of the picture for nearly all of those 13 years.

As the rest of the story goes, Lucy’s mom struggles with learning how to deal with the schedules and emotions of a child with autism.  The mother also begins to obsess over her guilt of not being there for Lucy.  Soon Lucy’s mother, who is an anthropologist begins to theorize that autism is the next step in the evolutionary process of humanity.  So much so that she makes this the subject of a book that has been in demand for some time from her publisher.  The problem is she starts letting Lucy do what she wants, pretty much, and Lucy’s welfare comes into question.

What I found most interesting in this performance were the insights where the playwright gave Lucy monologues in which she could step out of her own brain and express her normality.  I was intrigued by these and at the same time emotionally stirred.

Nice performance but I see some holes in the story.

Publisher’s Summary
In a thought-provoking new play, 13 year old Lucy, who suffers from autism, moves in with her estranged, misanthropic mother. Having lived her entire life with her father, Lucy, as well as her mom, struggle with all the difficulties of such an arrangement.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty and Raphael Sbarge.
Lucy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works