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Rajiv Joseph’s ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’
gets fresh new production at Hudson Theatre
LOS ANGELES (REVISED April 27, 2016) — What is the path we take to find love in a harsh world? Colleen Camp Productions and CRAZYface Productions present a fresh new production of Gruesome Playground Injuries, directed by John Hindman and starring Sara Rae Foster (Showtime’s Masters of Sex) and Jeff Ward (Lifetime’s Manson’s Lost Girls). Rajiv Joseph’s poignant and darkly comic tale about love, pain and friendship opens May 20 at the Hudson Backstage in Hollywood, with low-priced previews beginning May 14.
Gruesome Playground Injuries is a hilarious and heartbreaking love story about the intimacy between two people who allow their defenses to drop and their wounds to show. Over the course of 30 years, the lives of Kayleen and Doug intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare their scars from the physical and emotional calamities that keep drawing them together.
“These two people meet when they’re 8, an age when life is filled with so much hope and possibility,” explains Hindman. “As the years pass, we watch as they get worn down, get hurt and put up defenses. Their struggle is a theatrical version of what we all go through. The question is, in the rush to protect ourselves, will we build a wall so high that the right person can’t climb over it?”
Camp says, “When I saw Sara Rae Foster in Open Fist Theatre’s Crimes of the Heart, I was blown away by her raw talent and charisma, and wanted to find something we could do together. I’m thrilled to be working on this with her and that play’s director, John Hindman, as well as with Jeff Ward who is a young, exciting and incredibly versatile talent. Discovering artists like these and being a part of fresh, innovative work is like catnip to me.”
Gruesome Playgound Injuries received its world premiere at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas in 2009. It premiered off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre two years later, prompting The New York Times to call Joseph “an artist of original talent.” His other plays include Animals Out of Paper (Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The North Pool (Edgerton New American Play Award), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and Guards at the Taj (Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award).
Set design for Gruesome Playground Injuries is by JR Bruce; lighting design is by Leigh Allen; costume design is by A Jeffrey Schoenberg; property design is by Lily Bartenstein; movement/choreography is by Sarah McCarron; and graphic design is by Iris Azadi. The stage manager is Alyssa Escalante and Leigh Fortier produces.
Sara Rae Foster (Kayleen) is known in Los Angeles for her performance as Babe in Beth Henley’s Pulitzer-winning Crimes of the Heart (Open Fist Theatre with Aquila Morong Studio) and Sue in Tony-nominated Michael John LaChuisa’s world premiere dark comedy Sukie and Sue: Their Story (Blank Theatre). She has appeared on Showtime’s Masters of Sex (Dottie), TNT’s Mob City (Francette) and in national ads for Honda, Volkswagen, Verizon and Lincoln Financial. She is a champion competitive ballroom dancer and a native of North Texas.
Jeff Ward (Doug) starred as Charles Manson in the Lifetime original movie, Manson’s Lost Girls, and recently completed production on the Sophie Brooks-directed indie film The Boy Upstairs opposite Zosia Mamet. In L.A., he starred as Walter Prime in the world premiere of Marjorie Prime at the Mark Taper Forum. New York theater credits include The Chimes (The Public/SPF), THAT FACE (Manhattan Theatre Club), Moments (Dir. Moises Kaufman), Sex Good; Money Bad (Michael Weller) and Galileo (Skirball Center), and he made his Broadway debut understudying Ben Foster in Orphans starring Alec Baldwin. Other film and television credits include Beautiful People, The Beauty Inside, Heavenly, The Mentalist, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Body of Proof, Holly’s Holiday, Vamperifica and Next Time on Lonny. He recently guest starred on the new FOX series Rosewood.
John Hindman is a writer/director whose script The Dream of the Romans was included on Hollywood’s famous Black List. He is the writer and director of the 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee The Answer Man starring Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham, and he is currently in post-production on his latest film The Passing Parade. John has directed award-winning productions of David Auburn’s Proof and Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart (both at Open Fist Theatre Company), as well as Cyndy Lou Johnson’s Brilliant Traces and Dusk Rings A Bell by Stephen Belber (both at the Lounge Theatre). He recently starred in Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still and appeared in Damien Chazell’s latest film, La La Land. John has finished his most recent play A Single Famished Kiss and this year will direct his play Jericho. He currently teaches at the Aquila/Morong Studio for Actors.
Colleen Camp is an American actress, film producer and owner of Colleen Camp Productions. As an actress she is known for roles in Apocalypse Now, American Hustle, Grandma, Palo Alto, Four Christmases, Cirque du Freak, In Good Company, Election, Speed 2, Die Hard: With A Vengeance, Wayne’s World, Sliver, Clue, Police Academy 2 and 4, Valley Girl, They All Laughed, The Game Of Death (she sang the title song written by John Barry), Funny Girl, Smile and Death Game. Other film/TV roles include Aquarius, American Dad, Entourage, House, Mob City, The Rake, The Roseanne Show, The Tom Show, Dallas and Rich Man Poor Man. Her film/TV producer credits include Above Suspicion, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jack Huston and Emilia Clarke, which is currently in production; Eli Roth’s Lake Mead; and Steve Carr and Phil Allocco’s The Truth About Lies. Other producer credits include An American Rhapsody starring Scarlett Johansson, Nastassja Kinski, Tony Goldwyn and Emmy Rossum; Knock Knock starring Keanu Reeves; Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston; and five AIP Creature Features for HBO with Stan Winston and Sam Arkoff. Earlier films include City Girl, Shattered Image and the documentary The Cream Will Rise. For the stage, she produced Room 105, based on the life of Janis Joplin with Sophie B. Hawkins, at L.A.’s Macha Theatre (2012); Strangers on a Train, which she produced with Barbara Broccoli at London’s Gielgud Theatre (2013/2014); and Love Letters on Broadway (2014). She is currently producing and collaborating with David O. Russell on two of his original screenplays, The Hive and The Bends.
Gruesome Playground Injuries runs May 20 through June 26 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Three previews are set for Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m., Sunday May 15 at 3 p.m., and Thursday, May 19 at 8 pm. Tickets to all performances are $25, except previews which are $10. The Hudson Theatres are located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For information and to purchase tickets, (323) 960-7773 or go to www.plays411.com/playground.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’
Gruesome Playground Injuries — A new production of Rajiv Joseph’s darkly comic tale about love, pain and friendship. What is the path we take to find love in a harsh world? Sara Rae Foster (Showtime’s Masters of Sex, TNT’s Mob City) and Jeff Ward (title role in Lifetime’s Manson’s Lost Girls) star in this hilarious and heartbreaking love story about the intimacy between two people who allow their defenses to drop and their wounds to show.
• Written by Rajiv Joseph
• Directed by John Hindman
• Starring Sara Rae Foster and Jeff Ward
• Produced by Leigh Fortier
• Presented by Colleen Camp Productions and CRAZYface Productions
Previews May 14 – May 19
Performances May 20 – June 26
• Thursday at 8 p.m: May 19 ONLY (preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: May 20 (opening night), 20, 27; June 3, 10, 17, 24
• Saturdays at 8 p.m: May 14 (preview), 21, 28; June 4, 11, 18, 25
• Sundays at 3 p.m: May 15 (preview), 22, 29; June 5, 12, 19, 26
The Hudson Theatres
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
• General Admission: $25
• Previews: $10