City Theatre

Through May 4

Various times

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A riveting one-woman show is lighting up City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio. Written by contemporary playwright George Brant, Grounded makes its Pittsburgh premiere with an opening night performance on Friday, April 4th at 8 p.m. Directed by Jenn Thompson, the timely drama won the 2012 Smith Prize, which recognizes outstanding achievement in plays focused on American politics. Theater-goers will follow an ace fighter pilot whose illustrious career is suddenly put on hold due to an unexpected pregnancy. Reassigned to operating remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from a windowless air-conditioned trailer outside of Las Vegas, the play’s skillful protagonist hunts terrorists by day and cares for her family at night. The powerful story conveys the pilot’s mounting pressures and struggles, as she juggles tracking high-profile targets alongside her duties as a wife and a new mom. Soon, the tenuous boundaries between the US desert in which she lives and the Middle Eastern one she patrols across the globe, start to blur.

Brant’s award-winning script confronts universal issues of surveillance, duty, family and the ambiguities of warfare in the 21st century, all while poignantly using contemporary storytelling techniques. A Core Writer at the Playwright’s Center, Brant’s scripts have been produced internationally, and have garnered numerous prestigious awards, including a Kennedy Center National Playwriting Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award and the Keene Prize for Literature. Starring as the play’s strong female character is Kelly McAndrew, who was last seen at City Theatre in Precious Little. McAndrew has recently acted in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, in regional theater works and on television. Grounded‘s creative team includes Anne Mundell (scenic), Sabrina Zain (costume), Martin Vreeland (lighting), Toby Algya (sound) and Larry Shea (projections).