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gruesome playground injuries
by Rajiv Joseph
DIRECTED BY Stephanie Grilo

a tale of two scar crossed lovers
Sep 29 - Oct 15, 2023

was produced by the Alley Theatre,
Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director;
Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director.
Produced by Second Stage Theatre,
New York, January 2011,
Carole Rothman, Artistic Director.

from the director

This beautiful two-person play has stuck with me for years, almost like a scar. I first came across it while pursuing my MFA. I returned to it when my beloved friends at Duke City Repertory Theatre produced a gorgeous production of it, and then I began to use it for scene studies in the courses I teach both at CNM and UNM. You know how an open wound goes from gooey to scabbing to itching to healing to its final stage, the scar?

Yeah. That’s what this play does to me each and every time I revisit it.


What always draws me to Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries is this idea of lasting. What does it mean to stick it out with someone through the good, the bad, and the ugly? We all make choices. We all sustain regrets. We all long for something we can’t quite put our finger on. But, when relationships begin to shift and change over time, we yearn for elements of the past to remind us of how we ended up here, at this moment in time, with the same person (who has and has not changed with time, occasionally at their own detriment). And what I think this play eagerly asks us all to question is: Why do we and when do we begin to grieve the current state of the relationships that scar us?

And conversely, how do we then heal? 

Sometimes people in our lives are like that old t-shirt we will never get rid of - even if it doesn’t fit anymore and it has holes and rips and stains. It lasts with us. If you take away anything from this play, I hope that at least one of those things is the memory of your old t-shirt person who’s tucked away in your closet somewhere who scarred you but also healed you. And who knows? Maybe you’ll call them up or message them to see where life has taken them.

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meet the team

stephanie grilo
  - director, sound designer,
    co-scenic designer

Stephanie Grilo has been an active member of the Albuquerque Theatre Community since 2009. She received her BA in Theatre and her Masters in Dramatic Writing from UNM. She is currently a theatre faculty member at both CNM and UNM.


Performance credits include Layna in Brainpeople at the Vortex, Susan in Susan and God at the Vortex, Princess of France in Love's Labour's Lost at the NM Shakespeare Festival, Perdita in A Winter’s Tale, Chick in Crimes of the Heart, and Peggy Arnold in Traitors with Tricklock Theatre Company. Stephanie’s plays have been produced both in Albuquerque and Chicago.


Most recently, her play The Women of Little Fannie Mine premiered at CNM as the spring 2023 main stage production. She is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America, a Blackout Theatre Member alumni, and a 2013 Orchard Project core company resident.



Robyn casper
  - kayleen

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Robyn first got a taste for acting in middle school and has loved it ever since! Born and raised in Albuquerque, this is her first production at Actors Studio 66 and she’s eager to take the stage. She recently graduated from CNM with her Associates in Theatre. She would like to thank her loving friends and family for all their support.

jeff jung
  - doug

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Originally from North Dakota, Jeff is very excited to be back on stage with Actors Studio 66 after a hiatus. Previous theatre credits include SHOUT! with Actors Studio 66 (Albuquerque) , Awesome 80’s Prom with Dakota Stage (Bismarck,ND) , and Grease with Blur Theatre (Fargo, ND).
Film credits include Sanctified (2022) and End of the Rope (2023).


Jeff would like to thank his family, both actual and chosen for allowing him to follow his dream and for always supporting him. He would like to dedicate his performance to his late mother, Wendy, and his two biggest cheerleaders in acting, Amber Bernhardt, and Miles Barnum.

joseph levy
  - doug (understudy)


Joseph Levy is a college student born and raised here in Albuquerque. A long time appreciator of theater and the arts, he joined Actors Studio 66 to play Caldwell in last's season's opening show Caldwell's Bomb, Joe appeared as Arlan Wright in CNM’s production of The Women of Little Fannie Mine. He is back to understudy the role of Doug this year in Gruesome Playground Injuries.

colleen sample
  - kayleen (understudy)


Colleen is so excited to be working with Actors Studio 66 for the first time, performing one of her dream roles! Colleen grew up training in classical piano and voice. She started acting here in Albuquerque after college, performing in multiple roles for independent films and local commercials. She then pursued a theater conservatory training at Atlantic Acting School in New York. Since returning from New York in 2020, she has performed in several local theater shows. Recent roles include Captain Scott in Peter and the Star Catcher (HAP), Betsy Foster in Tuck Everlasting (MTS), Miss Casewell in Mousetrap (HAP), and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility (HAP).  Colleen is also a nurse and busy pet parent! She would like to thank her family and friends for all of their support as she has pursued her acting these last few years. She would also like to thank Stephanie Grilo and Actors Studio 66 for this tremendous opportunity!

stage manager

cynthia thompson
  -stage manager

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As a mother, Financial Assistant, and Stage Manager Cynthia feels her purpose is to help.  Her late husband’s spirit combined with a New York attitude, lets Cynthia know that she can.


abigail ropp
  -costume designer


Abigail moved to Albuquerque after performing in Michigan, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Chicago. She has been lucky enough to work at local venues such as The Vortex Theatre and North Fourth Arts Center, as well as with the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival as Maria in Twelfth Night and as part of the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival’s Educational Outreach Program. If she's not talking your ear off about iambic pentameter or early modern stage conventions, she's probably trying out a new bread recipe, organizing with mutual aid efforts, or wandering Albuquerque with her perfect chihuahua, Maggie.

banx tenorio 
  - lighting designer

Banx Tenorio (Lighting Designer) is excited to be working their second production with Actor's Studio 66. They have been working Sound and Light Design in the ABQ theatre scene since 2018, including a recent endeavor with The Adobe Theater's production of The Revolutionists. They look forward to bringing more audio and visual fun to Albuquerque stages and want to thank everyone in the audience for showing-up and hope they enjoy the show. 

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linda wilson
  -CO-scenic designer


Linda Wilson moved to Abq from the East Coast in 2009 and stumbled into the theater world here via the Adobe Theater in 2011.  Since then she has worked as a scenic painter, props person, designer and even an actor in well over 75 productions.  She is thrilled to be a part of Gruesome Playground Injuries and to work with Actors Studio 66 on this socially relevant play.


Shaina Hovrud


Shaina is originally from Bismarck, North Dakota and has costumed numerous 

productions including Spamalot, Oklahoma, James and the Giant Peach and more! In addition to costuming, she has worn many hats in the theater as a director, actor, and lighting/sound board operator. Two years ago, she was recognized as Dakota Stage Ltd.'s Volunteer of the Year

Andrew winrow
  -technical assistant


Andrew is a local high school student who is interested in the theater. He

has assisted with the set, behind the scenes work and running crew responsibilities  for Caldwell's Bomb, The Drawer Boy, and Gloria. We are delighted to have him

join us again for GPI.

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