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Written by George Brant, the poetic single-character play was performed to considerable acclaim in the U.K. and in a different production in New York early last year. It depicts the surreal working life of a female ace fighter pilot, reassigned during pregnancy to 12-hour shifts operating remote-controlled drone strikes, before then going home each day to a supposed normal existence with her family in the suburbs.
“Grounded is a brilliant and important play, a meditation on the human and moral costs of our astonishing military technology,” said Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis.
The play marks Hathaway’s return to the Public after earning raves as Viola in the company’s 2009 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. She won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2013 for her performance in Les Miserables.
In 1998, Taymor became the first woman to win a Tony Award for direction of a musical for her work on The Lion King, which also earned her a second Tony for costume design. That Disney production has gone on to become the highest-grossing entertainment property in history.
While the director had a turbulent time on the troubled Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, she bounced back in 2013 with a lauded off-Broadway staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was filmed for theatrical release.
Grounded will begin previews April 7 in the Public’s Anspacher Theater, with official opening set for April 23. The limited engagement runs through May 17.
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