Last night Om and I went to the local high school production of Flowers for Algernon. It's a pretty heavy play. The plot follows a young man of low intelligence who becomes the subject of a medical experiment. (It's set in the early 1950s) The operation has been performed on mice, most recently one named Algernon, and has been a huge success. They have received permission to test it on a human.
After surgery, Charley begins to get smarter and smarter. He becomes more aware of his social status. He had previously believed that everyone liked him, and he now learns that people have always made fun of him. With all the changes happening in his life now, he's still an easy mark for ridicule.
His intelligence continues to grow, and he eventually reaches genius level. However, the mouse, Algernon is showing symptoms that are alarming. When Algernon dies, Charley knows that his time as a "normal" person is short.
This is a serious play, more often staged by colleges. However, the teens did an excellent job last night. I would say that the five major players were as good as I would expect of college theater, and the boy who played Charley was outstanding. We went because he is the son of a friend, but he really did a great job.
If you ever have a chance to see this play, I highly recommend it.
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