PSU Theatre presents "Gruesome Playground Injuries"

  Monday, April 23, 2018 10:00 AM
  News, Arts & Entertainment

Pittsburg, KS

Pittsburg State University Theatre will produce a unique play this month that follows two individuals from the time they meet in the school nurse's office in third grade through 30 years of an injury-prone friendship.  

"Gruesome Playground Injuries," written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Cynthia Allan, will be performed in the Miller Theater at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts April 26-29, with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.  

The play follows Doug and Kayleen from age 8 to 38 in scenes that are not presented in chronological order.  

“It is an interesting technique that, far from making things confusing, actually helps us piece together how these characters connect, or don’t connect, over the years,” said Allan, who is chair of the PSU Department of Communication and a professor in the theatre program.  

By the end of the play, both characters have both physical and psychological scars. In each scene, audiences will see make-up artists remove one set of injuries and replace them with new injuries.  

“The technique is very theatrical and fun," Allan said. "The playwright specifies this is the only way the script should be produced, in part because he sees it as interesting how humans keep track of their lives through their injuries, such as the time you were in a wreck, or the time I fell out of a tree.”  

Because of the staging, there are no empty pauses as the scenes change.  

“Something is in motion the entire 90 minutes, whether they are having new injuries applied or acting in a scene,” Allan said.  

The play is both funny and touching as it unfolds in a jagged line through the trajectory of Doug and Kayleen’s life choices. The play may not be suitable for younger audience members due to the language.  

Doug and Kayleen are portrayed by students Michael Rodriquez, a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and Jaley Hoyt, a senior from Garland, Kansas.  

The make-up teams (portrayed in the play as paramedics and nurses) include students Katia Arians, Erika Moore, Olivia Ellison, Jade Provence, Sarah Potter, Mariana Rosales, Michaela West, and Garrett Wainscott.  

The set and lighting design is by theatre instructor Linden Little, with costumes by theatre staff member Lisa Quinteros and sound design by student Ila Phelps. Stage management is provided by students Cooper Dammrich and Ashton Augustine.  

Tickets may be reserved by calling the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796 or by purchasing them at the box office 30 minutes before curtain. Ticket prices are $12 for the general public, $7 for those under 17/over 65, and free admission with a valid PSU photo ID. Group memberships are available for groups of 10 or more; call the ticket office for details.  

Learn more about Pitt State Theatre at