Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company Adds GROUNDED to Season, Running 9/11-28

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company Adds GROUNDED to Season, Running 9/11-28

Opening night of the ninth season from the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) is coming a whole month sooner than expected. The company just announced the addition of another regional premiere to its already announced season: "Grounded" by George Brant, running September 11-28.

"This play is just so good we had to do it," says Ensemble Director Stephen Weitz. "When our staff read it, it just captured us. We couldn't bear the idea of not being able to present the regional premiere of this powerful and important play."

BETC steps out of Boulder for the second time with "Grounded," which will be presented at the Avenue Theater in Denver. Last season, BETC presented "The SantaLand Diaries" in partnership with Denver Center Attractions. This year, the holiday favorite will once again appear at the Denver Center, this time in partnership with Off-Center @ The Jones.

A one-woman show, "Grounded" tells the story of "The Pilot," an ace flying combat missions in the skies of Iraq. When an unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the cockpit, she is reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away.

The political undertones burn brightly given recently released documentation on drone warfare during the Obama administration. Weitz insists though, that the play isn't just about politics.

"Drone warfare is an important part of the political conversation now. It's a crucial discussion over the morality of how we conduct warfare. But what we have here is fundamentally a human story. A gripping and devastating story about one woman's journey. And there is no better actress to tell that story than Colorado's own Laura Norman."

Norman's last appearance with BETC came with critical acclaim and a Henry Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Ghost-Writer." Norman is also known for her award-winning portrayal of Harper in Bas Bleu's production of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America."

"Laura taking on this role actually created a fun bit of synchronicity," Weitz says. "We realized after casting that at the front of the script George Brant dedicated the play, 'For Laura.' Obviously, he didn't know our Laura, but we absolutely couldn't agree more."

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