newsshenanarts edge ampersand arts present gidions knot

ShenanArts on the Edge, Ampersand Arts present Gidion’s Knot

theater-masks2ShenanArts and Ampersand Arts have teamed up for the production of a new American play, Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams.

Performance Dates:  June 12, 13, and 14 at 7:00 pm and June 15 at 3:00 pm
Performance Venue:  ShenanArts Classroom space at the nTelos Theatre, 300 Churchville Ave., Staunton
All tickets  $10.  Available at  or by calling the box office (540) 712-0001
Limited seating.  Adult content and language ~ for mature audiences

Directed by Diane Cale Stewart
Cast:  Ash White (Heather) and Kelly Huston Ralston (Corryn)

The Story :  Over the course of a 90-minute parent-teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher have a fraught conversation about the tragic suicide of the mother’s son, the teacher’s student, Gidion. Gidion may have been bullied severely – or he may have been an abuser. As his story is slowly uncovered, the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gidion’s act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of culpability.

The play’s title refers to the idea of a “Gordian Knot,” an intractable or impossible problem.

The play’s story is a mystery, taking the audience on a tense roller coaster ride of emotions.  What caused the tragic suicide of a fifth-grader?  Who is responsible?  And yet, according to one review, “Gidion’s Knot is less about the child in question than about how society perceives its young. Are they truly innocents, or wise and manipulative? And what of the caretakers: Do parents and teachers harm the young by approaching education with radically different expectations?”

The playwright, Johnna Adams, was asked “What kind of theatre excites you?”  She replied “Theatre that makes me laugh a lot and then unexpectedly cry. Theatre where you can feel the air leave the room for a minute as the audience holds their breath.”

Gidion’s Knot will have the audience holding their collective breath and then some.

“…resonant…[a] particularly eloquent study of people caught between the competing demands of reason, morality and family…harrowing…a narrative that is as elegant as it is chilling.” —Washington Post

“…heart-stopping…the show has pathos and suspense in bucket loads…Within a lean 80 minutes, the show raises profound questions about parenting and education and documents the gut-wrenching force of maternal loyalty.” —Washingtonian

“GIDION’S KNOT is as sad as life itself, and as funny and startling as well…a beautiful, disturbing story.” —

Gidion’s Knot is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Services, Inc., New York



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