Last Friday night we had the privilege to see the latest play ay the SCRT entitled “Grounded”. A one-woman’s experience written by George Brant and directed by Eli Carpenter.

The play is about a fighter pilot who gets pregnant.

Kayla Ryan Walsh plays the ex-fighter pilot…and she commands the stage. The first few lines of the play were a bit over the top and caught most of the crowd off guard. Once she settled in she took over and never missed a beat. By that I mean that it didn’t seem like she missed a line, mark or cue for the entire 90 minutes. Plus, she did it with such believability that the audience was sucked in fro that point on.

Watching Walsh go through a gamut of emotions right before our eyes was an amazing sight. Kayla made us feel compassion, sadness, fear, and very uncomfortable throughout the night. All signs of a stellar performance.

Hats off to Eli and the team for the direction and vision for the simplistic complexity of the set. At first glance the set looks incredible minimal. There is a chair and a metal box frame that surrounds the chair. Not must to see until the frame starts lighting up. The lights come on at different times with different colors all having significant meaning to each part of the dialogue.  Very smart and very effective.

A few issues with sound on opening night didn’t change the strength of the play. And even Kalya got a little stuck in her flight suit, but was not phased in any way. I have worked with many solid actors, Kayla stands at the top of that crowd.

This was a very brave and intense opening play for the SCRT. All I can say is thank you for no playing it save and bringing something edgy to the little town of Trinidad. I think you found a gold mine in Eli, Jimmy, Kayla, and the rest of the cast and crew.  Harriet and Fred… you done good… real good.

One more shout out to the entire creative team… Director: Eli Carpenter , Stage Manager: Andie Burns, Scenic Designer: Austin Allen, Costume Designer: Nicole M. Harrison, and Lighting Designer: Austin Allen. Outstanding job and I cannot wait to see what is coming next.

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