Gruesome Playground Injuries at Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Artistic Vibes

Like Michael Apted's series of 7 Up documentaries — in which the director revisits the same people every seven years — Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries captures the maturation (or lack thereof) of two people from age 8 to 38, jumping forward (or backward) in time. Only in this case, the two people, Kayleen and Doug, are damage-prone souls connected by their propensity to wind up in sickbeds or emergency rooms. Themes of regret, lost love, high school angst, and doomed fatalism dominate the inventive proceedings, presented with Brechtian distance: The play's technical team makes up the actors' "injuries" in front of the audience, prompting us to sit with the pain. Valentina Izarra and Carbonell nominee Sheaun McKinney are tasked with these difficult, decade-spanning roles, under the direction of Arturo Rossi. As with Ground Up and Rising's short summer productions, audiences have their choice of two theatrical experiences: in the free, open air of Miami Beach Botanical Garden or in the more traditional confines of Artistic Vibes, a bohemian black-box space.


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