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Wednesday, March 28,2012

Addressing Asperger's Syndrome

'Theory' looks at teen life from a different angle

by Alyssa Firth

Audience members will delve into the mind of a teen afflicted by a disorder placed on the autism spectrum in the drama “Theory of Mind,” which is being presented tonight at the Wharton Center.

The story revolves around two teens: one with Asperger’s Syndrome and one without. 

Bill, played by Michigan State University alum Hazen Cuyler, is a 17-year-old headed for college, and while he is highly intelligent when it comes to school, he lacks the ability to read social cues and is anxious about relationships and social interactions. An evening spent with Hilo, played by Mariette Strauss, becomes an eye-opening, insightful experience for both teenagers. 

Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder affecting an estimated 1 in 100 births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of 2007. “Theory of Mind” addresses not only Bill’s disorder, but also how peer pressure affects all teens and what it means to be an outsider.

“Playwright Ken LaZebnik has given us two rich characters with dilemmas that many teenagers should be able to relate to, whether the autism spectrum is part of their lives or not,” director Bert Goldstein wrote in his Director’s Notes. 

´Theory of Mind´

Wharton Center

7:30 p.m. tonight

$12; $8 Michigan State University students with ID

(800) WHARTON

www.whartoncenter.com

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