Douglas Morrisson Theatre Sets First 'Bare Bones' Staged Reading, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES for Today

Douglas Morrisson Theatre Sets First 'Bare Bones' Staged Reading, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES for Today

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre (DMT) is excited to introduce GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, the first production in the 2013-2014 BARE BONES staged reading series. The eccentrically amusing and affecting play by Rajiv Joseph was inspired by a barroom conversation the playwright had with a friend who shared wild stories about all the injuries he had as a child.

Truly a different type of love story, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES tells the story of Kayleen and Doug's relationship over a period of 30 years. We first meet them in an elementary school's nurse's office. Doug has ridden his bicycle off of the roof and Kayleen is plagued by another mysterious stomach ailment. Their lives episodically intersect, as the two connect and reconnect, comparing their scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together.

GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES had its world premiere in 2009 in Houston at the Alley Theatre. Wooly Mammoth presented its East Coast premiere in 2010, followed by its New York premiere directed by Scott Ellis at Second Stage Theatre in 2011.

They playwright, Rajiv Joseph, was voted Most Likely to Become a Priest by the other 8th graders growing up in Cleveland. A shy boy with a father from India and a mother from Ohio, he loved Catholic rituals and was fascinated with matters of faith and morality. Mr. Joseph received his BA in Creative Writing from Miami University, and served for three years in the Peace Corps in a rural village in Senegal. Returning to the U.S. in 2000, he felt dislocated and became fascinated with the way people behaved in America: "Being American, at home and out in the world," he said, "became something to write about." He subsequently received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts, and opened on Broadway in 2011 starring Robin Williams. Mr. Joseph's plays include Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage Theatre, 2008; also part of SF Playhouse's 2009-2010 season); Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2006); All This Intimacy, (Second Stage Theatre, 2006); The North Pool (world premiere, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, winner of the annual Glickman Award for the best play to premiere in the Bay Area in 2011); and The Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre, Houston 2011). Mr. Joseph has also written for the Showtime TV series "Nurse Jackie."

The director, Dawn Monique Williams, is the 2013 Phil Killian Directing Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is drawn to Shakespeare, heightened language, magic realism, rhetoric and mythology, and has directed a wide range of plays including the recent English/U.S. premiere of Gracia Morales' NN12. Her international directing credits include Edinburgh Festival Fringe productions with Aces Wild Theatre. Dawn has worked with Impact Theatre, Woman's Will, the SF Young Playwrights Festival, CCT, and has assisted at leading regional theatres: Hartford Stage (Hartford, CT), TheatreWorks (Palo Alto, CA), California Shakespeare (Berkeley, CA), and Shakespeare & Co (Lenox, MA). She is a Drama League Alum, and as a Fellow, was assistant director to Davis McCallum on the premiere of Quiara Alegría Hudes' 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning Water By the Spoonful. She holds an MFA in Directing from UMass Amherst.

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre is located at 22311 N. Third St. in Hayward, next to the Senior Center and the Japanese Gardens. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 to 5:30 and can be reached at 510-881-6777. Information is also available at www.dmtonline.org.

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre is owned and operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, and is funded by the property taxes of the people who live in the Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Lorenzo areas, as well as other portions of unincorporated Alameda County. First named "The Little Theatre" at its dedication on November of 1978, the theatre opened its doors in January of 1979 with a production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The King and I. The theatre operated under The Little Theatre name until 2003 when it was renamed the Douglas Morrisson Theatre.

The Staged reading of GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES by Rajiv Joseph will be the first in DMT Bare Bones series in the 2013-2014 season: edgier pieces by contemporary writers. It is appropriate for ages 14 and up.

GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES will take place tonight, January 8, 2013 at Douglas Morrisson Theatre, 22311 N. Third St., Hayward, CA 94546. Tickets are priced at $10 open seating. The Box Office can be reached at 510-881-6777 and www.dmtonline.org.

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