Playwright George Brant is the author of several award-winning plays, most notably Grounded. His other plays include: Marie and Rosetta, Into the Breeches!, The Prince of Providence, Tender Age, Elephant’s Graveyard, Grizzly Mama, The Mourner’s Bench, Good on Paper, Any Other Name, Salvage, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, Night of the Mime, One Hand Clapping, and Dark Room. Of his written play list the one that intrigues me the most is Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile. In case you are unfamiliar with the term lobotomy, it’s a form of psychosurgery, that includes severing connections in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Some people might argue the point that lobotomy is being mentally performed daily here in America on a wide-spread basis. I could probably be convinced of that idea fairly simply. We seem to be losing the decision making ability of choosing right and wrong and from that perhaps even life and death.
I like the opposing posters for Grounded. One is cartoonish and carries no real stigma of death. The jet is a simple line drawing. The other image is a female pilot looking forlorn and weary.
In the play Grounded, we meet a nameless women, who goes about her normal household chores and family life. She loves being a fighter pilot. She’s good at her work and enjoys flying. Now, however, she has been confronted with the love of flying mixed with the challenge of fighting a war . . . plus. The female F-16 fighter pilot has become pregnant. The Air Force grounds her from flying and reassigns her to the drone program in Nevada. Piloting remotely does not sit well with her. Mothering brings new connections and insights. She struggles to compartmentalize the existence of her two realities as Mother and Fighter Pilot become increasingly permeable.
Here is a short preview of the play…
The Irish Times calls Grounded “A morality play about drone warfare.” Spike Lee might rename the play, Do the Right Thing. The most famous morality play is Hamlet. In today’s world the best example of a morality play might be Breaking Bad.
Awards of Grounded:
Winner: The Smith Prize for Political Theatre
Winner: Fringe First Award – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Winner: Off-West End Theatre Award for Best Production of 2013
Short-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award
“Grounded” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
Grounded runs – February 17 – March 6
At Theater on the Square
For complete ticket information – tacomaartslive.org/tickets