6/10/14 - 7/6/14


When a hot-shot fighter pilot’s unexpected pregnancy grounds her, she’s reassigned to fly drones in Afghanistan from a trailer outside Vegas. A sold-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, this gripping solo show explores the screened in, greyed-out, hyped-up world of remote warfare in an acclaimed production from London’s Gate Theatre.

Studio Special Events bring unique performances and one-of-a-kind events from around the world to DC.

Part of Studio Theatre's New British Invasion festival, showcasing the work of some of the most accomplished and innovative plays by British writers under 40.

Play Name

Show Information

Run Time: 60 minutes with no intermission.
Environmental Warning: This production of Grounded contains strobe light effects.

Studio is grateful to
The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation
for the Performing Arts

for its generous support.

The 2013-14 Special Events Season is
generously underwritten by
Susan L. and Dixon M. Butler.

Grounded is produced with the support of
the British Council.

Partial support for open captioning is provided by
Theatre Development Fund.


The Artists

Click on artist headshot to see bio


Production Team


Oli Townsend

Oli Townsend trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and is an Associate Artist at the Gate Theatre. Previous credits for the Gate include Wittenberg. Other set and costume design credits include Rodelinda (Scottish Opera); Macbeth (Blackheath Community Opera); Hitchcock Blonde (Hull Truck); A Beginning, A Middle, and An End (Greyscale/Scottish Tour); The Merchant of Venice (Creation Theatre); Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone (Greyscale/Almeida Festival); Blood Wedding (Royal and Derngate); Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be (Union); .45 (Hampstead); The Barber of Seville (Opera Up Close); INTRIGUE/LOVE (Southwark Playhouse); Narcissus (Roundhouse); The Grimm Bros’ Circus (Bath Theatre Royal & En Masse Theatre); For All Time, The Memory of Water, Blackbird (Theatre By The Lake). Costume design credits include Wozzeck (English National Opera); The Lighthouse (Royal Opera House, Linbury); Big Maggie (Druid). Mr. Townsend is one of the Gate’s Jerwood Young Designers for 2013.

(As of June 2014)


Mark Howland

Mark Howland studied, briefly, at Oxford University prior to training in stage lighting design at RADA. Previous credits for the Gate include Purple Heart, The Trojan Women, The Prophet, The Kreutzer Sonata (2012 revival), Yerma, Wittenberg, The Kreutzer Sonata (2009), and Vanya. Other theatre credits include Hitchcock Blonde (Hull Truck); Ignorance (Hampstead Theatre); Canvas (Chichester Festival); Ghosts, Sweeney Todd (Aarhus Theatre, Denmark); Singin’ in the Rain (New Theatre, Copenhagen); Entertaining Mr. Sloane, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Absurd Person Singular, Molly Sweeney, Translations (Curve); Measure for Measure (Sherman Cymru); Bea, Pressure Drop, On Religion (On Theatre); Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Vienna’s English Theatre); Dick Turpin’s Last Ride, Much Ado About Nothing, Cider with Rosie, The Merchant of Venice (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds); The Man Jesus, Uncle Vanya, Dockers, The Home Place (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); A Number (Salisbury Playhouse); Topless Mum (Tobacco Factory); Monsters (Arcola Theatre); The Pains of Youth (Belgrade Theatre).

(As of June 2014)


Tom Gibbons

Tom Gibbons trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Recent theatre credits includes Lion Boy (Complicite); As You Like It (RSC); Julius Caesar (Donmar); The Spire (Salisbury Playhouse); London (Paines Plough); Roundabout Season (Shoreditch Town Hall, Paines Plough); The Rover (Hampton Court Palace); Love, Love, Love (Royal Court); Island (National Theatre, Tour); Romeo & Juliet (Headlong); Disco Pigs (Young Vic); Dead Heavy Fantastic (Liverpool Everyman); Plenty (Crucible Studio, Sheffield); Encourage The Others (Almeida); Wasted (Paines Plough, Tour); Chalet Lines, The Knowledge, Little Platoons, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Bush Theatre); The Hairy Ape, Shivered, Faith, Hope and Charity, The Hostage, Toad (Southwark Playhouse); Sold (503); The Chairs (Ustinov Bath); The Country, The Road To Mecca, The Roman Bath, 1936, The Shawl (Arcola); Utopia, Bagpuss, Everything Must Go, Soho Streets (Soho Theatre); Hitchcock Blonde (Hull Truck). Credits as Associate include A Season in the Congo (Young Vic); Choir Boy (Royal Court); Broken Space Season (Bush Theatre).

(As of June 2014)


Benjamin Walden

Benjamin Walden’s video design credits include PIIGS (Royal Court); The Universal Machine (New Diorama); Mare Rider (Arcola Theatre); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Arts Ed); Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (Union Theatre).  Credits as touring Video Supervisor include Menage A Trois, Macbeth (National Theatre of Scotland); Lovesong (Frantic Assembly). This role is funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, as part of the Jerwood Young Designers Programme at the Gate.

(As of June 2014)


Thought-provoking... propulsive drama... In a fireball performance, Lucy Ellinson portrays the Pilot.
Washington Post
Grounded, simple and elegant though it be, packs a punch greater than most high ticket productions will ever know… Christopher Haydon directs this 60-minute show with a subtle mixture of intensity and cheer; and he has put together a wonderful design team to make it all real.
DC Metro Theater Arts
Ellison... is mesmerizing in her portrayal of the Pilot, whiplashing from one emotion to the next—anger, resignation, panic, false cheer—all glossed with a bravado that’s both humorous and heartbreaking.

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