Gruesome Playground Injuries follows Doug and Kayleen’s relationship from ages eight to 38 through the variety of injuries that bring them together. From time spent in the school nurse’s office as children, through teenage fights and hospital stays of a more serious nature, the two flit in and out of each other’s lives, comparing both their physical scars and the damage that goes far deeper.
What Is Gruesome Playground Injuries Like?
This quiet two-hander, told though a series of non-chronological scenes, tells the story of a love that goes far beyond the romantic. The space, all clinical whiteness and cold lighting, is spare in design and the onstage choreography that exists between scenes—clothing changes, set adjustment, the removal or addition of blood—is as much a part of the show as the scenes themselves. Doug, for his part, is hilarious in his recklessness or, as he calls it, bravery, while Kayleen’s wounds are more emotional in nature. Though the story isn’t linear, it builds in such a way that the audience focuses on the relationship these two people share, independent of everyone and everything else in their complicated lives.
Is Gruesome Playground Injuries Good for Kids?
Younger kids probably won’t appreciate the quiet pacing or the complicated emotional dance of the show, and parents certainly won’t appreciate the colorful language. As the title suggests, there are some moments of gore, so keep in mind that a youngster may freak at the sight of an empty eye socket, for example.