A Thought-provoking Play
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A Thought-provoking Play

Herndon’s NextStop Theatre to present “Gidion's Knot.”

Katy Carkuff.

Katy Carkuff. Photo by Melissa Blackall Photography/Courtesy of NextStop Theatre and Forum Theatre

NextStop Theatre will be presenting audiences with an absorbing, provocative theater piece sure to raise disquieting issues to chew on. With the school year about to begin the dramatic work "Gidion's Knot" takes what could be a current school bullying and aftermath incident and places it on stage for all to take in.

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From left - Caroline Stephanie Clay and Katy Carkuff in “Gidion's Knot.”

"Gidion's Knot," by award winning playwright Johnna Adams, takes place during a parent/teacher conference between a mother and her son Gidion's 5th grade teacher. The two women struggle mightily with each other, and deeply within themselves over issues that involve very tragic circumstances that haunt them both.

"This play is important," said Evan Hoffman, artistic director, NextStop Theatre. "This is boldly and unapologetically addressing a very real situation that is going on right now in our schools." Hoffman also indicated that the physical intimacy of the Industrial Strength Theatre will heighten the emotional connection between the audience and performers.

The issues raised are not far-fetched. One can look at the Fairfax County Public Schools online information about "creating a safe and positive school environment where all students can learn." This includes "a culture of acceptance and creation of safe opportunities to discuss concerns...with caring adults."

This "Gidion's Knot" production is quite unique in that it is a partnership between Herndon's NextStop and Forum Theater, Silver Spring, Md. "It's a great play. Great writing, compelling characters," said Michael Dove, artistic director, Forum Theatre. "That's what grabs you."

"’Gidion's Knot’ puts you in both characters' shoes and forces you to see both perspectives and then contemplate where the truth lies," added Dove.

Where and When

NextStop Theater and Forum Theatre present a co-production of "Gidion's Knot" at the Industrial Strength Theatre, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. Performances: Aug. 28-Sept. 14. Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 pm., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets: $28. For tickets call: 866-811-4111 or visit http://www.nextst...">www.nextstoptheat....

For "Gidion's Knot" director and George Mason University graduate Cristina Alicea, it "is a heartfelt drama about two women trying to sort out what happened to Gidion, why it happened in the first place, and whether they hold some blame for his actions." Alicea hopes it will spark many a discussion after the performance is long over.

Actor Caroline Stefanie Clay, playing the mother, said that "this is what theater is at its most engaged and vital; when you leave your seat still feeling incredibly charged by what you've seen. "

"Gidion's Knot" is the kind of play that will "throw you off-kilter and raise many questions and, in doing so, hopefully expand your perspectives...to understand things from another's point of view, and not to be afraid of that," said Katy Carkuff who plays the teacher.