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Angels’ Salon Reading Series Continues with GROUNDED

Angels Theatre Company continues their Salon Reading Series Sunday, March 1, at Turbine Flats, with a staged reading of GROUNDED by George Brant. The Salon Reading Series consists of monthly staged readings of plays that embody the season’s theme. The 2019-2020 theme, in conjunction with the Lincoln Theatre Alliance, is “Breaking Boundaries.” The readings are free to the public (donations accepted) and followed by a talkback discussion with the cast and director. Sunday’s reading is at 2pm at Turbine Flats (2124 Y Street). Check out the Facebook event here.

Directed by Deanna Walz, this play is a one-person show, starring Brenna Thompson as the pilot. Read on for an interview with the director about this show and why she is so invested in bringing it to the Salon Reading Series audience.

Tell us a little about this play.

GROUNDED by George Brant is a one-person story about a hot shot fighter pilot who accidentally becomes pregnant, stopping her flying career in the sky. The pilot has to try to navigate her new role with the new form of war and figure out who she really is.

Why were you originally drawn to this play?

I was drawn to this play as a mother myself having to discover a new identity and balance your own hopes and dreams with that of other people. Sometimes as mothers we even can lose our identities as women and I think that is a struggle that the Pilot resists in ways that most women aren’t allowed to even think about. 

How does it fit into the season theme of “Breaking Boundaries”?

The pilot doesn’t consider herself a woman. Or a man. She’s a pilot. It’s her identity. To have a woman resist motherhood, to embrace a casual sexuality is still controversial. 

What are the added challenges of directing a one-person staged reading?

There’s a level of energy that can be hard to maintain doing a one-person reading. When you have someone else to bounce back and forth, you can use a collective energy to impact the material. When it’s a solo show, it’s all you and that can be very demanding. Also, you get really thirsty, lol. So I’ll make sure Brenna has lots of H20.

Who can benefit from this reading?

I think a lot of people will find this story interesting. Women, men, those in the military. Balancing the difficulty of an unbelievably stressful job and parenting is something that we all have to manage.

What has been most surprising to you as you go through the rehearsal process with this play?

Brenna and I are both still discovering a lot about this character. She wears so many masks, she sometimes doesn’t even know what she truly thinks and what she truly feels. Her initial resistance to motherhood, her bravado and distance, balanced with an inherent instinct to keep people she loves safe. Exploring that has been exciting. 

About the play:

An unexpected pregnancy ends an ace fighter pilot’s career in the sky. Reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas, she hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. 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 half a world away. Grounded was first produced in a rolling world premiere by SF Playhouse (California), Borderlands Theatre (Arizona), and Unicorn Theatre (Missouri) as part of the National New Play Network’s Continued Life Program.

Named a Top 10 London Play of 2013 by both The Guardian and The London Evening Standard

“Grounded is a heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary and perfectly-structured solo drama … an essential story for our times.” – The Scotsman

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