A teacher, a mother and a young student’s suicide. Taking place over the course of a parent/teacher conference, Gidion’s Knot is the story of that student, Gidion, and the aftermath of his death. In the play, both women take a look into the motives for Gidion’s act and figure out if he was bullied or was the bully himself.
"Grief, guilt, blame, and preconceptions are boiling throughout this story," said Ixion Theatre’s Artistic Director in a press release. "Both women feel some blame and guilt, but are also trying to understand how things could have gone so far. Another thing I appreciate about this script is that there are subtle themes that ask the audience to explore their own preconceptions."
Janet Colson, who will be playing the role of the grieving mother, said the play tackles a very serious theme that often times is swept under the rug because there is no right way to handle it.
“There’s no way to point one finger in these instances, but that’s how we process it. When there’s something tragic that happens it’s really hard not to attribute blame it just might not that clear and productive,” the actress said.
The play was written by Johnna Adams who has written a little over 20 works in her 20-year career as a playwright. She is known for her bold styles and diverse range of genres. “Gidion’s Knot” originally premiered at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in 2012 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In 2013, Adams received a Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Citation for the play.
“It’s the only play I’ve ever read of hers and I thought the dialogue was really interesting. How realistic the banter was with these women, with the overlapping structure,” Colson said. “It’s written the way people talk and I thought that was interesting and kind of unsettling because this is the way people talk, but not about these topics.”
The performances will mark the directorial debut at Ixion for Erica Beck who has worked with Jeff Croff, Ixion’s artistic director, as both a director and an actor. Beck’s most recent work was assisting with costuming for Ixion’s production of “She Kills Monsters.”
Alongside Colson will be Sara Frank-Hepfer who will be returning to the stage after a 10-year hiatus. Colson said the two actors had to rely on each other for this play because the topic and dialogue was so difficult.
“It’s a really tough script, I trust Sara and I’m like ‘you better have my back out there,’ Colson said. “I really have enjoyed working with the other actor, she’s really good so it’s been really fun.”
Colson said she hopes the topic of this play doesn’t stop people from coming to see it, because of the unique way it is presented.
“I know a lot of people might not want to go see a show because of its subject matter, but I don’t think the show is depressing. I think the show raises a lot of questions, it’s not depressing,” Colson said. “I think it might give people a different perspective and be a catalyst for a lot of emotion.”
Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22
Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
The Robin Theatre
1105 S. Washington Ave.,