Gruesome Playground Injuries

We might be forgiven for wondering why Woolly Mammoth, having built its fabulous proscenium-styled performance space, enables its directors and designers to reconfigure it variously, as in the recent Full Circle and Clybourne Park. Nonetheless, the seating shifts are worth it. For the current production, the interesting two-hander Gruesome Playground Injuries, the audience is arranged arena style around the remains of a hockey rink. Scenes skip forward and backward at five-year intervals in the lives of Doug and Kayleen, as they age from 8 to 38; a relationship evolves between them that perhaps is never sexual (a particular scene ends ambiguously) but is often more intimate. The exchange of (other) body fluids, as well as scars (visible and otherwise), become their emotional currency. The excellent Tim Getman plays accident-prone Doug as one long goofy lope through life, while Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey’s Kayleen always holds something mysteriously in reserve.

  • Gruesome Playground Injuries, by Rajiv Joseph, directed by John Vreeke, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington