Gruesome Playground Injuries—Theatre

Gruesome Playground Injuries, written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by John Vreeke, is both a heartbreaking and a comedic night of theatre at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

Staged in the round and set on a playground for much of the time, the two-actor play tells the story of life-long friends Doug (Tim Getman) and Kayleen (Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey), from ages 8 to 38. In non-chronological order, we peek in at five-year intervals in their lives, when they are brought together when one or both of them are “hurting”—physically or psychologically. Doug is a daredevil—always experiencing one injury or another. Kayleen has a sensitive stomach, brought on, it would appear, by years of scarring–emotional and physical. As we go in and out of their lives, a hockey-like scoreboard provides us with their ages and injury.

Both actors are brilliant in their roles. Fernandez-Gomez does a fantastic job at conveying a fragile heart with a super tough exterior. Getman is nothing short of spectacular at portraying the young “Dougie,” both physically and attitudinally.  He also manages to let us see a very sensitive side as well as the emotional hurt he has carried over the years.

Do these two love one another? Most definitely. Will they both ever be on the same page at the same time? Will they be able to break through their injuries to be together and if yes, should they? These are some of the questions you’ll be pondering between your laughter and tears.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company  641 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004

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