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Moors wisely gives us a very individualized pilot; her strengths, her independence, her weaknesses, her love for her husband and daughter have a great specificity and individuality here. The pilot is admirably ambitious, unapologetic, independent, enthusiastic and idiosyncratic, so the final crack-up seems believable and sympathetic. And ultimately, the story takes a turn for the better in its development as a tale about surveillance. Unlike in the air where she is “alone in the vastness,” on the ground, the pilot is both observing and observed, with an anonymous life-and-death power over others that she’s shocked and horrified to discover that others have over her.
Contributed by Casey Gardner
The play was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it had its world premiere, and actress Anne Hathaway played the role of the pilot on an elaborate, complicated set when the play had its American premiere at New York Public Theatre. Designer Elizabeth Jarrett keeps things stark and simple: the use of a simple parachute back-drop, which can rise or fall away, is surprisingly inventive and effective, and Jennifer Silver’s video projection of a lifesize pilot captures the play’s sense of an individual objectified by technology, both as its controller and its subject.
Directed by Rebeca Robles, “Grounded” never offers any easy answers about drone technology or the nature of warfare, but the small, one-woman show nonetheless delivers a powerful punch and feels uncomfortably believable in the way it confronts the implications of a new form of warfare.
Bottom Line: A strong, minimalistic production of a compelling one-woman show.
Atlanta Theatre Club presents “Grounded”
$22. Through August 17. at 8 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. 7 Stages. 1105 Euclid Ave. (in Little Five Points). Atlanta. 404-523-7647,