Absolute Theatre invites live audiences back Thursday, May 6, with “Grounded,” and actor Beth Regener hopes those who see it in person are lively.
The show is a one-woman monologue that tells the story of an unnamed U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who becomes pregnant unexpectedly, which forces her to stop flying. She returns to duty as a drone operator.
Although not in the skies herself, the duty takes a toll on her as she spends hours staring at a gray screen confirming remote kills.
The show builds to a climax as the pilot’s state of mind unravels.
“It’s a drama, but it’s almost a thriller, because it builds to such a climax,” said Philip Muehe, who directs the show. “Death is removed from her life.”
This is Muehe’s Absolute directorial debut. He said he had his eye on “Grounded” for a while.
“It’s just a play that’s so timely and relevant,” he said.
Regener said although the climax of the show might be jarring for audience members, they might feel more comfortable talking about issues like PTSD, and come away with a sense of understanding, grace and patience.
“I want people to walk away knowing they can talk to other people, that they can work through it,” she said.
A one-person cast made the show a good choice for distancing guidelines under COVID-19 restrictions. It also provides an extra challenge for the actor.
Regener has done a one-person show before. Not having other cast members to play off means she looks to the audience for a boost to her performance.
“If the audience is engaged, that will help me get what I need,” she said.
Audiences will be seated in reserved seating by parties of one to four people. Larger parties can be accommodated with advance notice through the Absolute box office. All tickets must be purchased in advance. More information and tickets can be found at www.absolutetheatre.org.
If you go
What: Absolute Theatre's production of "Grounded"
When: 7 p.m. May 6, 7, 8, 13, 14; 2 p.m. May 8, 16
Where: Les Fields Hall, The Castle