Gruesome Playground Injuries

Don’t be put off by the title of Rajiv Joseph’s play getting its regional premiere to open the 2011-2012 season at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. It’s a kind of love story, although there are some moments you might want to avert your eyes: Doug (Jens Rasmus

Jens Rasmussen and Beth Harris in Gruesome Playground Injuries
Jens Rasmussen and Beth Harris in Gruesome Playground Injuries

Don’t be put off by the title of Rajiv Joseph’s play getting its regional premiere to open the 2011-2012 season at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. It’s a kind of love story, although there are some moments you might want to avert your eyes: Doug (Jens Rasmussen) has a proclivity for bizarre wounds brought on by daredevil actions. Kaylee (Beth Harris) has her own scars, although they’re more internal but nonetheless present. These two troubled souls find solace and strange comfort in one another’s company, and the chemistry between the actors — who were also the cast of Know’s excellent season opener a year ago, Skin Tight — is palpable. Even if you’re put off by some blood, you might be fascinated to watch as the actors (via video while onstage) wash off makeup for one injury and apply bandages for the next. It provides a bit of distance and makes for helpful transitions as the story hop-scotches between events that span their lives from age 8 to 38. Joseph is an up-and-coming writer worth paying attention to. Through Nov. 5.

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