THE ADHD PROJECT by Carlyn Rhamey (Squirrel Suit Productions). At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. July 8 at 2 pm, July.
THE ADHD PROJECT by Carlyn Rhamey (Squirrel Suit Productions). At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. July 8 at 2 pm, July 10 at 10 pm, July 12 at 3:30 pm, July 13 at 8 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Part stand-up, and part educational outreach, Carlyn Rhameys solo show has the feel of an incredibly entertaining TED Talk.
Rhameys hospitality is immediately evident as she offers one of the more heartfelt and researched land acknowledgements, followed by a heads up that this is a “relaxed performance,” allowing you to move around and basically do whatever you need to be comfortable.
She recounts her childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, the ways it framed her identity, created social schisms and directed her towards a career working in the same classrooms she grew up in. Her dramatization of the rigmarole of acquiring permission from medical professionals and the university system for her basic educational needs is both engaging and infuriating.
Under the direction of Jon Paterson, the show alternates between educational slides describing different levels of dopamine in the brain, childhood stories (including some hilarious home videos) and banter with the audience. Rhameys warmth and energy radiates throughout, setting the audience at ease and keeping us invested. And if you want to invest even more, shes got ADHD swag for sale at the end.