After a highly successful season at Red Stitch in 2014, George Brant’s Grounded returns for a strictly limited season at The Alex Theatre in St Kilda in April, before heading to Sydney’s Seymour Centre in May.
She’s an F16 fighter pilot; a rock star of the great big blue above. She loves the sky. And suddenly she is pregnant. Her career in the sky is over. Now, she sits in an air-conditioned trailer in Las Vegas flying remote-controlled drones.
Maybe it’s safer this way; maybe it’s better? She can come home to her husband and child. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols.
From the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workday existence, Grounded is a visceral, gripping story that flies through one woman’s internal war and her external battle. It tackles our assumptions about surveillance, the ambiguities of warfare in the 21st century, duty and the complexities of family life.
Written by contemporary US playwright George Brant, Grounded garnered a Fringe First award at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August and went on to a twice-extended run in September at the Gate Theatre in London. The London Evening Standard and The Guardian (which called it “a searing piece of writing”) both listed it as among their top 10 plays of 2013. It also won the 2012 Smith Prize, which recognises outstanding achievement in plays focused on American politics.
Kate Cole is a founding member of Red Stitch appearing in Day One, A Hotel, Evening, The Laramie Project (10 Years Later) (Arts Centre), About Tommy, Out of the Water, Grounded and most recently Sweet Charity. She also appeared in Circle Mirror Transformation and His Girl Friday for MTC.
Kirsten von Bibra is a theatre director and teaching artist. She has been directing classical and contemporary based material, training actors and conducting workshops for 30 years, and was a Lecturer in Acting at VCA for three years, where she directed text-based productions, including Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and Hélène Cixous’s The Perjured City. Later this year, Kirsten will return to the Australian Studies Centre at Peking University in Beijing to direct an Australian play.
Grounded is the recipient of 5 Green Room Award Nominations (2014): Best Production, Female Actor (Kate Cole as The Pilot), Direction (Kirsten von Bibra), Set Design (Matthew Adey), Composition (Elizabeth Drake)
Alex Theatre St Kilda, 135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Season: 15 – 19 April 2015
Seymour Centre, Corner City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale (Sydney)
Season: 1 – 16 May 2015
Bookings: (02) 9351 7940 or online at: www.seymourcentre.com
Image: Kate Cole – photo by Jodie Hutchinson