PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University Theatre will produce a two-person play centered on 30 years of friendship this weekend.
Written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by PSU Professor Cynthia Allan, “Gruesome Playground Injuries” began performing Thursday. The 90-minute show will continue its run at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Bicknell Center.
The play follows Doug and Kayleen, portrayed by students Michael Rodriguez and Jaley Hoyt, respectively. After the two meet in the school nurse’s office in third grade, the play follows them from age 8 to 38 in scenes that are not presented in chronological order.
“The show will jump forward fifteen years and then go back ten years for the next scene,” Allan said. “It’s like a puzzle you get to watch unfold, and then you get to those last few scenes, and everything starts clicking.”
In each scene, make-up artists will remove one set of injuries and replace them with new injuries.
“After every scene, they go from, say, 13 to 28, so you watch them transform and then the next scene happens,” Allan said. “All of the make-up artists are dressed up like EMTs or nurses because it’s a medical situation.”
Allan also praised Joseph, who wrote the play’s script in 2011.
“This is a new voice in American theater and I think he wins awards for almost every play he writes,” she said. “We do a lot of newer work here because this is a university and students should be seeing the newer stuff, and we want our actors and technicians to train on the newer stuff for when they go out.”
Admission is free for those with a valid PSU photo ID. Ticket prices are $12 for the general public and $7 for those under 17 or over 65. Group memberships are available for groups of 10 or more.
— Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.