Through a unique collaboration with Otago Polytechnic design students, Grounded offers audiences an immersive, digital theatre experience about a fighter pilot’s struggle with motherhood, marriage and being “grounded”. The central character is played by Claire Chitham, a renowned and loved New Zealand actor.
When an unexpected pregnancy grounds an F16 fighter pilot, she is repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in the Middle East from an air-conditioned trailer in the desert outside Las Vegas.
Instead of soaring through the blue, she is now sitting in the grey – working twelve-hour shifts hunting terrorists on screen by day and being a wife and mother by night. As the pressure to find a high-profile target builds, the boundaries between the desert where she lives and the one she patrols half-a-world away begin to blur.
Winner of a coverted Fringe First award (2013), this is a haunting, extraordinary and topical play about war, family and empathy.