Rajiv Joseph's quirky and dark love story of Gruesome Playground Injuries, an engaging drama that follows childhood friends Kayleen and Doug over the course of 30 years of physical and emotional bumps and bruises - will be presented by members of Nashville Repertory Theatre's Professional Internship program April 29-30 at Nashville Public Television's Studio A.

"On a deeper level...It's about lost love," according to the playwright. "It's about pain, and regret...I know that these are things that almost everyone in humanity has some experience with."

In Joseph's play, Kayleen and Doug have an unbreakable bond that is stitched up over 30 years through hospital rooms, nurses' offices and an ice skating rink. Whether they are eight or 38 they always seem to be recovering from some self-inflicted, almost masochistic trauma. They form a unique, but loyal friendship through their pain. This quirky and dark love story will show the connections between physical and emotional injuries, will open your eyes to see how people grow, but sometimes don't change, and how real love and friendship can mend any wound.

The story is told through a nonlinear story structure that moves the story along in an extremely unique, yet attainable manner.

"The jumping around in ages was kind of important to me," Joseph says. "I thought it was an interesting way of telling the story, but it also acts as the way that I think most of us will recount our's more like a prism of memory that is disjointed and connected through something that is not necessarily time, but emotion and sensation and pain."

Joseph created Gruesome Playground Injuries through a conversation he had with a childhood friend. His friend was regaling Joseph with stories of various injuries he had obtained through different stages of his life, and Joseph realized that injuries could "chart an experience, a relationship, a lifetime."

Nashville Rep's cast for Gruesome Playground Injuries includes Fred Brown (Doug), and Lacy Hartselle (Kayleen). Kate Prosser directs.

The show runs Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are a suggested $10 donation, or $5 for actors and students, and can be purchased online at or by calling (615) 349-3223.

Designers of the production are Corwin Amyx and Erin Murphy (scenic designers), Rebecca Schafer (costumes), Clayton Landiss (lighting), Taylor Russell (sound and scenic charge artist), and Kate Prosser (properties). Technical director is Corwin Amyx.

About The Professional Internship Program Nashville Repertory Theatre's Internship Program is designed to offer hands-on professional experience to students, graduates, and early career professionals who are pursuing a career in theatre. Interns are offered the opportunity to gain practical knowledge while working with experienced professionals in theatre arts and administration. The Rep strives to offer a program that helps each intern accomplish steps towards their career goals, while also allowing them to observe and experience the general day-to-day workings of a professional regional theatre.

Each season, Nashville Rep welcomes five carefully selected professional interns. Each intern is placed within a department that is related to their theatre interests. Departments are as follows: Scenic Production, Properties, Stage Management, Costume Production and Marketing/Development. Throughout the season, these interns will work hands-on with the directors of each department and learn valuable skills to further their careers within theatre arts. At the end of their internship, the professional interns present their own Professional Internship Production displaying all that they have learned.

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis

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