SALEM— Distracted, a comedic take on modern family life, kicks off the 2019 Pentacle Theatre season Jan 18. – Feb. 9.

What’s wrong with 9-year-old Jesse? His teacher and parents aren’t really sure. He can’t sit still, he curses, he raps, and his teacher thinks it’s Attention Deficit Disorder. Dad says, “He’s just a boy!” But Mama wants answers. Is Jesse dysfunctional or just different?

Throughout the play, Jesse is an offstage voice who gets louder and angrier, but also in danger of fading away.

Distracted features a talented cast — many of whom play multiple roles — taking a hilarious, provocative and poignant look at a modern family facing an epidemic dilemma: Are we so tuned into our 24/7 info-rich world that we’ve tuned out what really matters?

Pentacle Theatre’s cast includes Mason Atkin as Mama, Darlene Barlow as Mrs. Holly/Dr. Waller/Nurse, Julianna Gibbons as Dr. Zavala/Waitress/Charlene, Walt Haight as Daniel/Dr. Jinks/Dr. Karnes/Actor with ADD, Ellie Knoll as Sherry, Valerie Mozena as Vera, Liam Smith as Jesse, Mathieu Voisine as Dad and Annalyce Winkler as Natalie.

“We’ve created an immersive experience,” said co-director Isaac Joyce-Shaw.

“Our set, costumes, sound and video design create a crazy, Technicolor world the characters inhabit,” he said. “We really take you into the mind of Jesse and his mother. It’s childish and hilariously funny, but the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

So, tear yourself away from your cell phone and tune into this adult, funny, frenetic story about modern family life, playing at Pentacle Theatre Jan. 18 – Feb. 9.

Distracted contains mature language, adult situations and is intended for adult audiences.

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What: Distracted, written by Lisa Loomer, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter known for her work in film (Girl, Interrupted) and television (Law & Order: SVU). Loomer won the PEN Literary Award for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 American Revolutions play, Roe.

Directed by: Lucas Hill and Isaac Joyce-Shaw with Jodi Deming as assistant director.

Featuring: The music of local artists Jeff Dankenbring, Hexteria, Kruse and Rich McCloud.

When: Jan. 18 – Feb. 9.

Where: Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW, off Highway 22, about 6 miles west of downtown Salem, Oregon.

Suitability: Distracted contains mature language, adult situations and is intended for adult audiences.

Tickets: Tickets range in price from $24-29.

  • $29 for opening night includes a catered post-show party.
  • $25 for Friday and Saturday evening performances.
  • $27 for Sunday matinee performances.
  • $24 for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances.
  • Seniors, students and military are eligible for a $1.50 discount per ticket.
  • Through Salem for All, Oregon Trail cardholders are eligible for a 50 percent discount per ticket.

Where to buy: Advance tickets are available at Pentacle’s downtown Salem ticket office at 145 Liberty St. NE or by calling 503-485-4300 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or online anytime at Tickets are also available at the theater box office 45 minutes before each performance.

Tickets for low-income persons: In partnership with Salem for All, Pentacle Theatre offers half-price tickets to Oregon Trail Card holders. For information, go to

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Call 503-485-4300.