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Mason Warner talks about his work on the upcoming play, Gruesome Playground Injuries

ENMU production of  Gruesome Playground Injuries
ENMU University Theatre Center
Mason Warner and Alex Sena in the ENMU production of Gruesome Playground Injuries that runs from Thursday, November 18th thru Sunday, November 21st at the Studio Theatre, University Theatre Center (UTC) on the Eastern New Mexico University, Portales Campus.

GENTRY: And now Great Arts at Eastern, from the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I’m Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, Your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Mason Warner, a Theatre major here at ENMU. Mason, thanks for being on the show today.

WARNER: Thank you so much for having me.

GENTRY: Now you’re a veteran of the ENMU stage; what have you appeared in before now?

WARNER: Most recently, on the stage, I performed in Sherwood, I played Little John in that production, and I’ve also performed a couple of times on that stage during Drama Fest back in my high school years.

GENTRY: And then you did some virtual performances too, in between there.

WARNER: Yes, I did. I was in You’re on Mute, which was actually directed by Ricky Quintana. Also,

GENTRY: Right. Now Gruesome Playground. Injuries by Rajiv Joseph opens tonight on the stage, not a virtual production, but on the stage. Tell me about your experience playing the role of Doug.

WARNER: So, Doug is a really interesting character. He wears a mask a lot, very much like a lot of us do. He doesn’t like to show a lot of his inner emotion. But he really is most vulnerable around Kayleen, and that is something that you'll get to see throughout the show. But so it's been really fun to give him this hard exterior while at the same time letting you see his- his more vulnerable side as well.

GENTRY: Right. Now, this Play is described as a dark comedy and an unconventional love story. Is that about right?

WARNER: For sure, absolutely. I think that is a very apt description, definitely unconventional for in layman’s terms.

GENTRY: So how kid-friendly would this show be?

WARNER: I would say it's not incredibly kid-friendly. It’s definitely more appropriate for mature audiences for sure.

GENTRY: So, would you, if it were a TV- Movie, would you call it a PG-13 or an R?

WARNER: I would-, I would- I would say PG-13 would be appropriate.

GENTRY: Alright, so high school and above probably should be alright. And what have you learned from director Ricky Quintana?

WARNER: Ricky- working with Ricky has been really cool. He is really good about bringing out the best that we have in ourselves without- while also letting us discover it on our own. He kind of guides us in the correct direction where we want to go while also letting us... Allowing us the creative freedom to go on our own journeys with these characters.

GENTRY: That sounds great. So, tell me about working with your co-star. This is a two-person play, so we really get to know the characters, and your co-star is Alex Sena.

WARNER: Correct, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, Alex. We've been friends for a couple of years. I've never worked this closely on a- on a show with her specifically before. We have done a couple of films and things like that, but it's been really cool getting to know Alex a little bit more. And getting to act with her character at the same time. And I think that our acting styles are very conducive to each other. And I think we really bring out the best in each other's acting as well.

GENTRY: And this will be in the studio theater, right? The black box. So, it’s a little more intimate setting.

WARNER: Absolutely, which I think would be is appropriate for the show because the show obviously deals with Doug and Kayleen, and it is a very intimate, intimate times in their lives with the show kind of highlight stuff. So, I think having in the black box theater is really going to highlight that for the audience.

GENTRY: Great. Well thank you Mason Warner for joining me today. Tickets for Gruesome Playground Injuries are available at the University Theatre Centre for $10 for the Public, but $7 for Active Military and Seniors and free to ENMU students with their current ID. The Play runs tonight through Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and then Sunday for a matinee at 2:00 p.m. For tickets and information, call 575-562-2712. Mason, thanks so much.

WARNER: Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time.

GENTRY: Our listeners can find all the Great Arts at Eastern at enmu.edu/FineArtsEvents, such as tonight's Fall Jazz Concert. Thanks for listening on KENW, your Public Radio Network.

Fall Jazz Concert

Richard Schwartz, conductor

Buchanan Hall, Music Building (MB)

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Gruesome Playground Injuries

Written by Rajib Joseph

Directed by Ricky Quintana

Studio Theatre, University Theatre Center (UTC)

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at 2 p.m.

General admission: $10

Free admission with valid ENMU Student ID

Senior citizens (60+) admission: $7

Active military admission: $7

Related Content
  • Join ENMU College of Fine Arts Dean Jeff Gentry each week on "Great Arts at Eastern," as he interviews artists, actors, entertainers and musicians about their craft and events they produce at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. "Great Arts at Eastern" airs once a week about 12:35 p.m. MT on Thursdays on KENW–FM.This program also is available online by clicking the title of an individual episode listed below.
  • Host of Great Arts at Eastern