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Gruesome Playground Injuries in Kittery

Ryan Salvato and Jessica MillerMARK YOUR CALENDAR


The first rule of show business success is, “Give ‘em what they want.” With the season opening of STAGE FORCE, that's precisely what Founding Artistic Director KentStephens does in October. (Click head to raed more)



The 2014-2015 Main Stage opens with Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. This darkly humorous drama was an overwhelming audience favorite in STAGE FORCE's Winter 2014 Play Reading Series and features Seacoast actors Ryan Salvato and Jessica Miller. The play runs Fridays through Sundays,October 17, 18, 24, and 25 at8 pm, andOctober 19 and 26at3 pm, at the STAR Theatre at the Kittery Community Center, 120 Rogers Road, Kittery. Tickets are $25 and available at; and at the welcome desk of the Kittery Community Center, (603) 436-2400. The production is made possible with support from Bob's Clam Hut and Robert's Maine Grill, Kittery, ME; Pickwick's Mercantile, Portsmouth, NH; and D. Pratt Framer, Kittery. The STAGE FORCE season is supported by Cava Restaurant of Portsmouth.


With Gruesome Playground Injuries, Rajiv Joseph, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, has penned a contemporary love story that personifies the expression “love hurts.” Doug, an accident-prone daredevil, and Kayleen, a caustic masochist, navigate friendship, love and the squishy parts that lie in between. They first meet in a school nurse's office, and over a 30-year relationship, build a complex connection through a lifetime of injuries, both physical and emotional. “Gruesome Playground Injuries is truly a ‘different type of love story’,” says Stephens. “It will leave audiences aching from its sharp humor and sharper insights into its brilliantly crafted characters.”


Gruesome Playground Injuries combines an unusual structure – the eight scenes leap back and forth in time over thirty years, beginning when Kayleen and Doug are eight years old in a school nurse's office and ending when they are 38 in a local skating rink – with Joseph's specific instruction to producers that the two characters' costume and makeup changes, including application of blood, bruises, and bandages, take place as much is possible in full view of the audience. The STAGE FORCE production brings this home even more theatrically by projecting on the STAR Theatre's 10' x 20' screen live, split-screen video of Salvato and Miller in their separate dressing areas as they prepare for each succeeding scene.


Opening Night Party


Opening night,October 17, includes a special treat for theatre-goers: “Gruesome Delights & Enchanting Elixirs,” a Halloween-themed post-show party featuring wine, pastries by Lil’s Café and chocolates by Lindt, and the opportunity to mingle with the cast of Gruesome and other STAGE FORCE artists. Tickets for the opening night show-and-party combo are $46. Kent Stephens’ STAGE FORCE offers professional theatrical art to the Seacoast region that is provocative, smart, and engaging. STAGE FORCE presents a diverse repertory of new, contemporary, and classic plays in productions and readings, favoring what is thought- provoking, substantive, and unexpected.



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