Performing Arts

Gruesome Playground Injuries at 35below

Nina Troy and Patrick Brandt in Gruesome Playground Injuries. Photo courtesy of Attic Salt Theatre Company.

Attic Salt Theatre Company presents Gruesome Playground Injuries, July 14–30, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at 35below. The bittersweet comedy was written by award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph, who is known for the acclaimed Bengal Tiger in a Baghdad Zoo.

“The script for Gruesome Playground Injuries goes in some interesting directions in the way it handles characters, staging and time,” says the play’s director and Attic Salt’s artistic director, Jeff Catanese. “The staging permits the audience to be a part of the actors’ transitions between scenes and from actor to character. I hope the effect will allow the audience to experience the show on two levels.”

Gruesome Playground Injuries was originally produced in Houston, in 2009, starring Selma Blair. It went Off- Broadway in 2011. The play follows the odd connection between Kayleen and Doug, who find kinship in a series of life-altering calamities. Though their romance is unrealized, they find themselves constantly drawn to each other.

“This play deals with both physical and metaphorical damage and how love can help us bear it,” says Catanese.

Kayleen will be played by Nina Troy, who is new to the Asheville stage, and Doug will be played by Patrick Brandt, last featured in The Nerd, Attic Salt’s recent production at NC Stage Company. “This will differ from other roles because we’ll be changing scenes onstage, with everything happening in front of the audience,” says Brandt. “We will constantly be in the moment.”

Attic Salt’s executive director Marci Bernstein will serve as the show’s producer. Costumes will be designed by local fashion designer McKinney Gough and the play will be stage-managed by Lilly Mills.

35below is at 35 East Walnut Street, Asheville. Seating is general admission. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at or by calling 828.254.1320.

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