‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’ covers couple’s dynamic 30-year relationship

Published by adviser, Author: Rachel Frydryck - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 26, 2015
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Slippery Rock University’s Theatre Department performed playwright Rajiv Joseph’s play, “Gruesome Playground Injuries” on March 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheehy Theater.

Directed by Amber Mikec, this play focused on the physically and psychologically troublesome lives of Doug, played by actor Tyler Hahn, and Kayleen, played by actress Carina Iannarelli, and their abnormal relationship.

The main characters become acquainted in the hospital at eight years old. As a byproduct of their misfortunes, Doug’s and Kayleen’s wounded spirits kindle romance as they discover solace in one another’s company. The play covers a 30-year span in which the couple reconcile their relationship.

Assistant director Philip Bova explained that production took several months.

“We had auditions in January, and we have been rehearsing since,” Bova said. “Although it’s been about two months, I feel like it’s been a blink of an eye, and I want to keep going.”

Mikec also said that the actors who played Doug and Kayleen had great chemistry on set.

“Tyler and Carina get along really well,” Mikec said. “That is one of the reasons my assistant director and I had cast them. They had such strong chemistry from auditions, and it only kept growing from there. They are goofballs that love having fun and you can really see that through their performances.”

Sophomore psychology major Rex Gregory, said that the life stories of the individuals was surrounded by more serious themes.

“I really enjoyed “Gruesome Playground Injuries,”” Gregory said. “I liked how it went through the lives of two individuals from the day the met, and as they grew up while bring up real like issues, like death and self-harm. I also liked the mixture of humor with deeper and serious topics, like rape.”

Mikec said she fell in love with the script as soon as she read it.

“There is so much to this particular piece,” Mikec said. “There is not one person that won’t connect with this show.”

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