Westport Country Playhouse gives flight to ‘Grounded’

Elizabeth Stahlmann performs as the pilot in the Westport Country Playhouse’s production of “Grounded,” through July 29. Carol Rosegg / Contributed photo

Since its debut in 2013, George Brant’s “Grounded” has rarely been just that. This one-woman play has risen from more than 100 stages around the world, including a recent off-Broadway production starring Anne Hathaway.

It is taking off nearly nightly at the Westport Country Playhouse through the end of this month, under the direction of Liz Diamond, resident director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, and in the capable hands of Elizabeth Stahlmann, a recent Yale School of Drama graduate. Stahlmann plays a F-16 fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy leads to a reassignment to operate remote-controlled drones from an air-conditioned trailer in a Nevada desert.

In this summer, when female superheroes are making such a buzz, the play is a reminder of the hard work and psychological ramifications of conflict and war on the real warriors that serve in the U.S. military. The audience watches as Stahlmann finds it increasingly difficult to separate her job as a soldier with her role as a mother and wife.

Recently, the women spoke about that dichotomy and other themes in the play for a story that will run this Sunday. You can look for it Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s “S,” the Sunday Arts & Style section.

Christina Hennessy