Actress Anne Hathaway, who won the 2012 Academy Award for her supporting role in “Les Miserables,” is going to star in an off-Broadway one-woman play about an Air Force fighter pilot who is reassigned to fly a drone.
“Grounded,” by George Brant, is about a “swaggering pilot, whose work day involves killing from afar and home life includes a husband longing for her to unwind and a daughter who plays with pink ponies,” as the New York Times described the play last year.
A theater magazine called TDF Stages further described the play, which will start April 7 at New York’s Public Theater:
About halfway through the show, for instance, the Pilot is lulled into near-hypnosis as she controls a drone with a joystick instead of actually flying a plane through the sky. She tells herself she’s lucky to be living safely in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter, but the job is starting to crush her. Even in her sleep, she can see the colorless blob of the screen that she stares at all day, and she feels like her entire life is limited to an anonymous room on an Air Force base.
One day, though, the distant war comes tearing into her life. She witnesses some terrible things on the screen and even makes some of them happen with the push of a button.
Julie Taymor, who directed the acclaimed stage production of “The Lion King,” will direct Hathaway’s performance of “Grounded.”
The controversial issue of the ethics of drone warfare and the psychological toll piloting them takes appears to be gaining traction in pop culture. On April 10 — three days after Hathaway’s play begins — the movie “Good Kill,” starring Ethan Hawke as another tormented drone pilot, will hit the theaters.
Air Force Times spoke to Hawke earlier this month about “Good Kill,” and the interview can be read here.