Southern Rep Theatre Opens Loyola University Residency With Brant’s ‘Grounded,’ Starring Cahill

NEW ORLEANS — Southern Rep Theatre’s regional premiere of George Brant’s “Grounded” begins Southern Rep’s two-year residency at Loyola, and runs Nov. 2 – 27, at Loyola’s Lower Depths Theatre, 6363 St. Charles Ave.

         Kerry Cahill stars as an Air Force pilot whose career is transformed due to her unplanned pregnancy. While yearning for “the blue” of the sky and her fighter jet, she is reallocated to the “Chair Force,” piloting a drone that puts the war just a one-hour commute from her husband and daughter in the Nevada suburbs. As the pressure mounts to track a high-profile target, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one where she works.

         A deeply intimate portrayal, “Grounded” invites audiences to reflect on the era of drone warfare and surveillance, the mental health of members of the military and veterans, and the unique ways military families grapple with the pressures abroad and at home. 

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         As an actress, Cahill was drawn to the unique opportunity presented by “Grounded,” a one-woman show. “When you’re an actress and you’ve done a lot of theatre and a lot of film, you’re constantly looking for bigger challenges and bigger mountains to climb,” she said. “The challenge of it was really attractive as well as the subject matter.”

         As a national spokesperson for AMVETS—one of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations, with over 250,000 members—Cahill is personally invested in the issues raised in “Grounded.” She said, “We’re very good at talking about war, and where we are going to send troops, we’re not very good at talking about how we’re going to take care of them when they get home. And we’re getting better at it but it needs to be at a larger scale. So this is a chance to get some discussion of veterans and soldiers and our military on the table when it’s not always on the table.” She adds, “Modern warfare is having a different effect on our veterans. And the current war that we are in and have been in is something that we haven’t seen before and I think the show helps tackle that a little bit.”

         Southern Rep is a Blue Star Theatre – a collaboration between Theatre Communications Group and Blue Star Families, with leadership support from the MetLife Foundation. This initiative is intended to recognize the contributions of service families, to build stronger connections between the theatre community and military families in communities all across the country, and to help in whatever small way it can to aid service people and their families as they seek to be integrated into the lives of their communities. Each participating Blue Star Theatre offers discounted admission to all military personnel and their families, as well as veterans. For “Grounded,” as for all its Mainstage productions, Southern Rep provides a 30% discount for all members of the military community.

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         “Grounded” was first produced in a Rolling World Premiere from the National New Play Network (SF Playhouse, Borderlands Theater, and Unicorn Theatre) and by London's Gate Theatre. It has subsequently received over 80 productions in 17 different countries and has been translated into eight languages. Actress Anne Hathaway, who starred in a 2015 production of “Grounded” at The Public Theater, is producing a forthcoming film version adapted by the playwright George Brant. For Southern Rep, the production is helmed by director Larissa Lury, with support from a National Directors Fellowship (NDF) award.

         “As a core member of the National New Play Network it makes sense that Southern Rep is producing Brant's successful play that began as part of the NNPN Rolling World Premiere program,” Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes notes. “Also, as Louisiana is a state that is home to many veterans and active military, we are excited to be sharing this unique portrait of what it is like to serve one's country. Kerry Cahill has long been associated with Southern Rep, from her hilarious award-winning turn in ZOMBIETOWN to the weary wife in MOLD. She effortlessly conjures emotional depths and humor in a profoundly honest way, and this challenging role is one that we are eager to see her inhabit. Get ready for thrilling evening of theatre in the intimate environs of Loyola's Lower Depths Theatre.”


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• Preview Performances:

Wednesday, Nov. 2– Sunday, Nov. 6

• Opening Night:

Monday, Nov. 7

• Regular Performances:

Nov. 10 – 27

Thursdays – Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.

Sundays at 3:00 p.m.


         For more information



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