"Wiles’ Helium soars—the kind of play that can leave a lump in your throat" —The Post and Courier, 1990
Cast: 3W, 3 boys
Set: unit set
Recommended for: high schools, colleges, general audiences
Helium is the moving and uplifting story of Mrs. Kingsley, a brilliant, humorous, and beloved former chemistry teacher who braves the trials of frailty and aging, all the while keeping her imagination, charm, and dignity intact. No longer bound by space and time, Mrs. Kingsley's mind has begun to wander. With the help of colorful bunches of helium-filled balloons, she takes flight and visits the seashore of her youth, her old high-school classroom, and even drops in on an old episode of Star Trek. Back in the present, Mrs. Kingsley's daughter Alice struggles to keep her headstrong mother's feet firmly on the ground and her aging mind solidly anchored in reality. It is a losing battle. As sparks fly between mother and daughter, Mrs. Kingsley's grandsons watch in wonder and amazement as their mischievous grandmother's wit and imagination continues to charm even as her mind slips into amazing and often humorous flights of fancy.