REVIEW: Combat via video screen and its emotional toll
WASHINGTON POST • MARCH 6, 2015 • BY JANE HORWITZ
When a drone pilot stares at a video screen thousands of miles from a war zone and remotely fires a missile at a human target, does he or she feel the same tangle of emotions as fighter or bomber pilots who unleash destruction “in person”?
Uneasy answers to that and other questions explode over 75 harrowing minutes in George Brant’s one-character play “Grounded” at Olney Theatre Center. A co-production with Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, the tautly executed and handsomely designed piece stars Megan Anderson in a fierce performance as The Pilot, looking back at her career with a bravado that boils up and over.
DC METRO THEATER ARTS • MARCH 2, 2015 • BY BEV FLEISHER
Grounded provides a unique look into one woman’s journey from top-notch fighter pilot, on which her self-image is staked, to a drone pilot sinking daily into the shrouds of PTSD. There have been many stories of soldiers coming home but few are told so powerfully in the first person.
Winner of the Scotsman Fringe First Award, the Smith Prize, and named a Top 10 London Play,Grounded is a challenging project. As in the performance at Everyman Theatre in October, Olney’s current production, co-produced with Everyman Theatre, benefits greatly from having Megan Anderson inhabit the character of “The Pilot.”
REVIEW: Theatre Review: 'Grounded' at Olney Theatre Center
MD THEATRE GUIDE • MARCH 5, 2015 • BY STEVE CHARING
Even if one entered Olney Theatre Center’s Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab without knowing anything about George Brant’s taut play Grounded, the visuals already established will tip you off that you will be in for a tense, bumpy ride. Seated on a black swivel chair, motionless, is a slender woman in an olive drab flight suit (designed by Ivania Stack) before a group of imageless TV monitors except for gray wavy lines across the screens. The audience is eventually in place, the lights black out for a second, and then pow!
The Pilot, the sole identity of the woman in the flight suit, springs to her feet from her chair and tells Brant’s poignant story of how we arrived at this point. Megan Anderson, who recently turned in a terrific performance in Rep Stage’s The Whale and is a resident actor at Everyman, delivers the punches like a brawny fighter making use of rapidly spoken, high-octane soliloquies, often employing combat stances and macho swagger, and energetically moving about the stage with a purpose in a tour de force that is as riveting as it is outstanding.
Olney Theatre Center is a proud partner of Barrie School.
Olney Theatre Center is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. All programs are made possible by support from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County; the Maryland State Department of Education; and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.