Theatre to Stage Production of Dark Comedy ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s Department of Theatre will kick off its 2022-23 season with “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” a dark comedy that follows the lives of two best friends’ tumultuous relationship and lives as they come together over 30 years.

With great compassion and humor, Pulitzer Prize-nominated Rajiv Joseph crafts a compelling and unconventional love story about the intimacy between two people when they allow their defenses to drop and their wounds to show.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-24; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Simpson Theatre of Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr.

The show is directed by DayDay Robinson, assistant professor of theatre. Jeff McLaughlin, associate professor of theatre, serves as the scenic designer, Caisa Sanburg, assistant professor of theatre, is the sound and lighting designer, and Dr. Derek Jenkins, assistant professor of music, composed music for the production.

The cast and crew are all theatre majors. The cast consists of Skyla Conger of Haskell and Gavin Wilson of Berryville.

The costume design is by Robyne Richards of Beebe, Destiny Johnson of Cabot serves as the makeup designer, and Kylah Hood of Jonesboro is the assistant director. The stage manager is Emily Provence of Searcy. Emma Bryant of Siloam Springs and Michael Joseph of Poplar Bluff, Mo., are assistant stage managers, the properties master is Lindsey Zimmer of Jonesboro, and Alli Peavy of Memphis serves as the soundboard operator.

Kori Denison of Batesville, Selena Hinds of Jonesboro and Tommy Graham of Kennett, Mo., serve as wardrobe crew. Justin Harris of St. Louis is the documentarian, Judith Bossi of Batesville and Hayley Murry of Beebe are caption creators, and the house manager is Miraya Gerardo-Munguia of Beebe. Baylor McElhaney of Benton is the publicist.

This production contains sensitive material, including profanity, moments of dressing and undressing, depictions of gruesome injuries, self-harm, dangerous risk-taking behavior, and references to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This production is not recommended for those under 14 years of age.

Tickets for “Gruesome Playground Injuries” can be purchased Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. from the A-State Box Office at First National Bank Arena or by calling (870) 972-ASU1. Tickets may also be purchased online at

Prices are $10 for seniors and A-State staff/faculty, and $15 for the general public. A-State student tickets are free at the box office with a student ID. Limited seating is available, so patrons are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance.

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