What's it about?
The play was about a boy who up until the age of about fifteen was living his life believing he was born a girl. This is because of a tragic accident during his circumcision. That led his parents to a psychologist who was conducting a longitudinal case study on theory of nature verses nurture - focusing on gender identity. The journey of this boy from Sam to Samantha to Adam is remarkable. As he breaks the barriers of the theory, showing that nature prevails over nurture. Based on a true story.
What'd I experience?
As the story unfolded, I was able to see the many obstacles they were faced with.
The mother was very relatable to me. She had this caring nature, she wanted to protect and make the best life for her child. The thing I found most interesting about the mother was her sincere and desperate need to help her child. However, I saw how her actions trickled down to the other family members, as well as, the implications it had on the development of her son. This trickle effect played out in humorous scenario, but in the end, I saw the toll it took on the family system.
As an undergraduate studying families, it was so interesting to be able to watch this unique case of a unit. Although in the beginning of the play I got the sense that it was a joint effort between her and her husband, I quickly realized that the father didn't fully approve. And I see that a lot within my mom and my stepdad. This was so intriguing and I couldn't believe how the relationships within the play were all based on a true people.
The most distinct lesson I got out of it all was how effective our choices in life are and how much more effective the choices of our parents are. It's true we don't necessarily end up how our parents mapped us out to be, but their choices definitely impact who we become. And this was definitely true in the growth of Samantha as she later found out she wasn't a girl. Or at least she wasn't born that way. It was all based on a decision her mother made. Hopefully to give her son a normal life - but the secrecy and the lies broke the relationship between him and his father, even his mother and his twin brother. Soon after finding out about the secret he left home, separating himself from the family.
The most amazing thing, though, was that he was able to come to terms with his experience and found someone who loved him regardless. That is a happy ending.
The psychologist's attachment to "Samantha" honestly caught me off-guard. I was not expecting that he would react the way he did, when she did not want to go through with the surgery. And even though his reaction was odd, I kinda wasn't surprised. That is confusing. Even more confusing was that I was able to relate most with him, even though I despised his response to "Samantha" transitioning back to who he was created as in the first place (hence the name he created for himself, "Adam"). I find within myself that I want to always be right. Yea, I can acknowledge when I am wrong, but I don't like to be. And I don't think anyone does. So, for the most part I could relate to that psychologist. The mother, I realized too, hanged on so tight to the theory. She was hoping it worked and even during the midst of all the crisis with "Samantha" she kept denying the truth. And it was heartbreaking because the father, from the beginning, saw through the theory but went along because he loved his wife.
I knew a bit about this theory before seeing the play. So it was exciting and interesting for me, because it is a debatable topic: the idea that when we are born we are blank beings, and who we are is impacted by what we learn, are grown or nurtured to believe. OR, on the contrary, the way we are born is what influences who we are, which was what Adam proved at the end. He was who he was because essentially he was born that way and beyond that he couldn't be anyone else.