North Texas Daily

“Gruesome” play depicts lifetime of wounds

“Gruesome” play depicts lifetime of wounds

February 06
21:48 2013

Morgan Gentry

Staff Writer

Sundown Collaborative Theatre brings Denton Raajiv Joseph’s dark comedy, Gruesome Playground Inuries, about two accident-prone kids who form a significant bond through scars and physical calamities. Running Feb. 7-9 and Feb. 14-17 at the Green Space Arts Collective, this play is open to anyone who is interested in watching a painful relationship unfold.

Joseph is an American playwright and 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist who takes his audience on a journey through new wounds shared between two damaged friends, Doug and Kayleen, as they go through life as each other’s crutches.

Appearing at different ages throughout the play — 8 through 38 – Joseph managed to give a revealing outlook on how the two’s story formed and how it may or may not lead to a real relationship.

Sundown Theatre’s public relations director Nick Ross came across Joseph’s script while reading Feeder magazine.

“Gruesome Playground Injuries just seemed like something wicked cool and is actually a well-crafted show,” Ross said. “It’s also unique in the way it’s written and specifically the time jumps. It follows the relationship of these two individuals who are these masochists, yet they’re sort of made for each other.”

Ross’ intent for the play is to form these two individuals to be a reflection on society.

“Sometimes we develop relationships with one another through tragedy rather than say an acquaintance that can lead us to friendships or budding romances,” Ross said. “Instead, some tragedy comes about and we’re connected through this and we grow from there.”

The Sundown crew began working on the play in December, rehearsals beginning Jan. 2 and their first show beginning today. The show only has two cast members who carry the weight. Their five-week preparation allowed the cast and crew to put the production together and gave them a chance to embody Joseph’s concept of the story.

“We pour so much into this,” said Travis Stuebing, co-artistic director and actor. “It’s a small company, and so we hope that we can reach out to the audience here, especially those on campus.”

By depicting the saying ‘a broken bone is easier to mend than a broken heart’ through the play, Ross hopes to grab the attention of the viewers. It may not be an actual love story, but one rather about the love these two characters share for inflicting pain.

“I’m not a theatre enthusiast, but the title of the play really does catch your attention,” painting and drawing Senior Max Martinez said. “Dark comedies always have a silver lining that speaks louder than the laughs they create.”

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