American Blues Theater's GROUNDED to Open 6/12

American Blues Theater's GROUNDED to Open 6/12

Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and American Blues Theater, Chicago's second oldest Equity ensemble, have announced the Chicago premiere of Grounded, by George Brant and directed by Lisa Portes, now playing throughJuly 13 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. The running time is approximately 80 minutes. Pink Previews, where tickets sales benefit the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research, are Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. Opening Night is Thursday, June 12 at 7 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 - $49 and are available at 773.404.7336 or

A hot-rod F16 fighter pilot's (Gwendolyn Whiteside) unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from an air-conditioned trailer near Vegas, the pilot struggles through surreal twelve-hour shifts far from the battlefield, hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night. Grounded flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence, targeting assumptions about war, family, technology and the power of storytelling.

"I am thrilled to work with American Blues Theater and in particular, the insanely talented, Wendy Whiteside on this production. Grounded is a solo piece and, as such, requires an actor of great charisma and depth. I couldn't be more energized by the idea of Wendy in this role. Grounded is also the story of a US military pilot. My grandpa, Lt. Colonel Charles Brazie, USAF, flew during World War II. I see this play through his eyes, " said Director Lisa Portes, who is making her American Blues Theater debut with Grounded.

Grounded won the National New Play Network's 2012 Smith Prize, which honors a new play on American politics, as well as acclaimed productions at the San Francisco Playhouse and at Borderlands Theater in Tucson. It won a Fringe First award at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and had a run at London's Gate Theater extended twice. Both The London Evening Standard and The Guardian included Grounded in their top 10 plays of 2013. In 2014, in addition to American Blues Theater, Grounded will be produced in three other American cities and Australia.

The production staff of Grounded includes American Blues Theater Ensemble members Sarah E. Ross (scenic design); Lindsay Jones (sound design)and Jaclyn Holsey (stage manager); Artistic Affiliate Arianna Soloway (properties); with guest artists Elsa Hiltner (costume design); Sarah Hughey (lighting design); Mike Tutaj (projection design); Ellen Willett (production manager) and Kristin Leahey (dramaturg).

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