What's it about?
The Father is the story of a man who was once successful, who had once been in charge of everything in his life but slowly things have begun to change, for the worse. We watch, through the mind’s eye of the main character, as his world deteriorates due to dementia and we watch him losing control of not only everything in his life but life itself.
What'd I experience?
During the show, I sat in the audience shell-shocked and uncomfortable because let's be real, the human mind is a scary place to venture.
I’m the type of person to see something out of the ordinary, health-wise, and go into a full-fledged panic attack. I worry all the time for myself and my parents. Especially my parents.
My mother and father have a whole list of things wrong with them and as they age the list just gets longer and longer.
There are moments where I fear their minds may be deteriorating like that main character of this play.
My father would look throughout the house for his glasses or his watch and not find it. Getting aggravated and impatient he would yell, flustered. The objects would be in the most obvious of places, on the vanity or the coffee table, but he can’t seem to see them.
Like in the show, after every blackout there were items missing in the mind of the main character. They may still be there to another person but to him they are gone.
My mother and I used to go out on walks. One day while we were coming home the sun had set and it was dark. I had full grasp of where we were, we were not even 4 blocks away from home. My mother had absolutely no idea where she was. I tried explaining to her, showing her the train station we used every day, but it was no use. “Just trust me” I had said. I took her hand in mine and we walked home. Only when we were in front of our house did she recognize where we were.
In the show, the main character needs caregivers and his family to help him try to do things he used to be able to do every day. As I helped my mother home, my heart sunk and my hands clammed up.
I take everything I watch to heart, connecting something that had happened during the show to a little part of my life. Everything is meaningful to me.
As I sat in the audience, I realized that I was one of the few young adults in the theater but this show had affected me so strongly. I looked around me and realized there were men and women around the age of the main character, and my mind wondered “how do they feel right now?”
There is something about shining light on such a devastating human event that makes things all the more real, all the more scary. The journey of a deteriorating mind is unsettling.
It’s safe to say that at the very end of the performance, I was a teary-eyed baby.