Gruesome Playground Injuries

Rajiv Joseph explores the pain of being in love

The Alley Theatre's latest coup is the world premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. A provocative dark comedy, Injuryfollows a couple who meet in the school nurse's office (she's throwing up, and he rode his bike off the roof). The encounter sets them on a path marked by the physical damage they do to themselves over the next 30 years. "The center of it is these two people who've known each other ever since they were eight years old. It's very much about charting those two lives and how we come to understand them through their scars, and the injuries both of them have," says Senior Dramaturge and Director of New Play Development Mark Bly, who brought the play to the attention of Alley Artistic Director Gregory Boyd. "There is one character who is overwhelmingly in love with the other one, who is less in love. So, this is a kind of love story, surely, but it's also about, 'Isn't it interesting how we as human beings will hurt ourselves to gain another person's attention, another person's love?' The cumulative damage that we do to ourselves to get that attention is amazing."

Bly says Injuries, which is told through jumps back and forth in time, is unlike anything he's seen in years. "I have not read a play like this since Tony Kushner's Angels in America. This is an amazing play." Apparently Boyd agrees Ñ he snapped it up just hours after reading the script. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Through November 15. 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit www.alleytheatre.org. $21 to $55.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Nov. 15, 2009

 
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