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"Men are not afraid of dying, but they are afraid of not being remembered." - Corryn in Gidion's Knot

 

Over the course of a 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, 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.

 

December 4-20, 2015

Mon & Wed @ 7pm
Fri @ 10pm
Sat 5pm
Sun @ 2pm & 8pm

The Seeing Place @ the Clarion Theater
309 East 26th St (at 2nd Ave), NYC

 

SYNOPSIS:


Over the course of a 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, 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.

"A particularly eloquent study of people caught between the competing demands of reason, morality and family…a narrative that is as elegant as it is chilling." —Washington Post. "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." —DCTheatreScene.com.

Playing in rotating repertory with THE PILLOWMAN, the darkly humorous drama by Martin McDonagh.

“Both THE PILLOWMAN and GIDION’S KNOT explore mans’ compulsion to right the wrongs of the world through creative expression,” says TSP Managing Director Erin Cronican. “In both plays a violent and prolific writer has the authorities up in arms, who accuse him of threatening the very core of ‘civilized’ society. By examining this single puzzle through two texts, we’re initiating a passionate debate on civil liberties that are deeply violated by unchecked authoritarian brutality.”

Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission.

Get your tickets here.

 

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Production Photos - Click for Slideshow

(Photos by Natasha Straley. Click here or on a photo above for comprehensive photo gallery.)

 

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Reviews about GIDION'S KNOT

Myra Chanin, Huffington Post- "The Seeing Place is a creative, supportive, artistic home for actors who want to grow and hone their craft. Managed by Founding Directors Brandon Walker and Erin Cronican, both first class performer/directors, The Seeing Place also takes pride in making live theater affordable at $15 ticket prices. In the company's intimate performing space at The Clarion Theater, the viewers are close enough to the performers to feel like quasi-participants in the tough, contemporary dramas, presented two at a time in repertory. Their current offering -- Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman and Johnna Adams' Gidion's Knot-- are emotion-charged studies of dysfunction, domination, torture and death."

Howard Miller, Talkin' Broadway- "In Johnna Adams’s intense drama Gidion’s Knot, being given a compelling production by The Seeing Place at the Clarion Theatre, two wary women – one the mother of a fifth grade boy, the other, his teacher, meet up after the boy has [spoiler redacted]...Throughout the evening, the two actresses, under Brandon Walker’s direction, give nuanced and emotionally honest performances of complicated characters...The most disturbing part of the play comes when, at Corryn’s insistence, Heather reads aloud a piece of writing that Gidion had composed. It is here that we come to understand why the company has chosen to pair in rotating rep Gidion’s Knot with Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy, The Pillowman, for the story that Gidion has written is as horrifically violent as anything that appears in McDonagh’s play...”

Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Manhattan With A Twist- "It is brutal and taxing on these characters to go to the equivalent of a boxing match in this stage with the background they have, so it is a good thing that performers Susan Izatt and Erin Cronican are up to the task. Their performances give these arguments meaning beyond what is being said. The battle of ideologies, morality, and ultimately the desperation of two women that need to get rid of the emotional storm inside of them is played beautifully by these two thespians. The dialogue and movement under director Brandon Walker is one that moves swiftly, organically, and does not miss a step...The Seeing Place Theater production of Johnna Adams “Gidion’s Knot” is an actor’s play that at the very least will make you think. They are running this in rep with “The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh. Pillowman is literally one, if not, my favorite written work in theater. To say I get weary when a new production opens might be an understatement... but after this production, I’m very excited to see their version of my beloved McDonagh play. Go see and support this company, they already showed they can do great work."

Chris McKittrick, Daily Actor- "Cronican controls the flow of the interaction as the aggressor, ranging from cold and calculating to fiery. Izatt’s Heather has the challenge of responding to Corryn’s forceful nature without coming off as too weak-kneed...Cronican and Izatt both convey the emotional struggle effectively, which creates seventy minutes of thought-provoking performance..."

Myra Chanin, Theater Pizzazz- "The Seeing Place specializes in tough, contemporary dramas, presented two at a time in repertory. Their current duo – Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman and Johnna Adams’ Gidion’s Knot are mind and emotion-boggling examinations of dysfunctional behavior that results in domination, torture and death...The Clarion Theater’s intimate performing space totally connects the audience to the performers...Gidion’s Knot is only 70 minutes long [and] contains a brilliant performance by Erin Cronican, who always convinces me that she actually is the character she is playing...[The Pillowman and Gidion's Knot] are both interesting but difficult plays to watch. About base human emotions and human stupidity, they’re troubling and affecting. And I can’t think of any company that could perform them as well as The Seeing Place Theater does…"

...and a tweet from Mel Goldsipe, Two Show Days- "Last day for @TheSeeingPlace double-feature: Gidion's Knot & The Pillowman. Saw it yesterday & highly recommend the combo. Esp. loved Knot."

Sandra Roque, Patron Review on Theatermania- "GO SEE IT!! I initially found "The Pillowman" on TDF. I knew absolutely nothing about the company, but it was a good text + the ticket was inexpensive. Having been disappointed so often, I expected nothing much from the acting and directing. It turned out I actually enjoyed the experience! So I decided to CHANGE MY PLANS and STAY FOR THE NEXT PLAY - "Gidion's knot" - of which I also knew nothing. I'm so glad I did! Johnna Adams' story is very pertinent, yet disturbing. Sensitive, yet violent... sad, yet positive... Its no-right-answer circumstances made me consider my own position in some very difficult issues, were I to be found in each characters' shoes. Its interpretation by Brandon Walker (director) and the actresses (Erin Cronican and Susan Izatt), got to me in a very emotional way. I could extend positive comments for much longer, but will only add: - I'll definitely be back for more of them! Much BETTER THAN MOST of what I've seen off-Broadway and better than some ON Broadway!! - Erin Cronican is FANTASTIC!! Her work is so grounded... truthful, everything happens out of a real need to speak/move. As Corryn, she's able to do the hardest thing: while dealing with what could potentially be overwhelming emotion, and at the same time having to contain it, she's right where she needs to be - not "hiding it too well", not "push it" to a larger expression. She's fully present in each moment! - I even liked the lighting design!! (Usually "non-existant", compared to what I'm used to seeing in Portuguese and Brazilian productions) If you appreciate truthful, really in-the-moment acting - GO SEE IT! If you appreciate a cosy environment, created by passionate, approachable artists - PAY THEM A VISIT! I know I will !"

"Euphemia", Patron Review on Theatermania- "The Seeing Place Theater Never Disappoints! Gidion's Knot was gripping and taut with tension between its two characters much in the same way I was riveted by David Mamet's Oleanna almost 25 years ago. Erin Cronican, one of the theater's co-founders and the actress who played Corryn, gave a multi-dimensional and authentic performance as the play's grieving mother. She bore her soul to the small theater's audience and provoked questions in each of our minds about where should the dividing line lie between what happens to a child at home and in school. A very timely and important topic now. 5 STARS."

"Remiadewole", Patron Review on Theatermania- "The blatant matter of fact delivery by Ms. Erin, and the emotional uncertainty played by Ms. Susan made for a delightful mix in this production of Gidion's Knot. Having never read or viewed the play I got a full sense of what Johnna intended. It's eerie yet well depicted imagery in the story (within the play), which led to that fateful event, was quite compelling and intriguing and the actresses delivered. I would certainly return to The Seeing Place Theater to view their next production. And at just $15 a show, it's a great deal."

Dan Thorp, Patron Review on Theatermania- "5 STARS. Erin C. does it again with another fleshy performance of a woman in peril. A contemporary two woman show that goes straight to the heart. The Seeing Place is on a hot streak as of late and always delivers organic work, which to be honest, is the most difficult thing to pull off in theater. Do yourself a favor and spend the meager $15 to see the show. Opening night was quite a treat as Susan, the other lead actress, brought her 'A' game and nearly stole the show. Another bonus, the show is only an hour long."

Jeff Gaster, Patron Review on Theatermania- "A Theatrical Gem Far From Broadway--But Much More Rewarding: Gidion's Knot was yet another compelling play in a string that I've witnessed this endearing company (Seeing Place Theater) bring to life. No subject seems too difficult for them to handle. Every character is a well-developed persona with ingrained ideosyncracies. In this perfectly cozy, yet spacious venue, you feel part of the very realistic action--but with all the comforts of a modern performance space. I first encountered this group at the Laramie Project(s)--which gave tremendous insight into the feelings and motivations that preceded--and resulted from--the infamous Matthew Shepard murder. The theater thrives on raising issues of morality, justice and personality which pervade the captivating and unusual story that unfolds in front of you. You feel you are there--and can't help but feel the deep emotions that the performers--in this case, Erin Cronican and Susan Izatt--exude. When you leave the theater, you take an ingrainwed part of the play with you. A shining example of why you don't have to go to Broadway to see great theater--because you'll find this rewarding hidden treasure in Kips Bay."

Brian K, Patron Review on Theatermania- "This show has exceptional performances! 5 STARS"

Anne, Patron Review on Theatermania- "5 STARS. The acting was excellent, the stage direction was excellent. The events seemed believable and tragic. The playwright offers no solution. The mother expresses one of the play's recurring themes when she sarcastically suggests they might try to to pass "......Gidion's Law, which is the name we will give our new legislation to make it sound touching and socially necessary. Instead of fascist and inhumanly invasive." She articulates the polarization created by political correctness. One person is freed by a rule, another is oppressed by it. The boy's mother and the class teacher rage about writing, free speech, education , parenting and a few other things I probably missed. Their battle unleashes many assumptions made about 21st century children, especially that of their innocence and talent. Both characters seem in despair about what to do. www.seeingplacetheater.com has done an admirable production."

 

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Articles about GIDION'S KNOT

  Broadway World - "Cast Set for The Seeing Place's Haunting Rep of THE PILLOWMAN and GIDION'S KNOT"
     
  Pacer.Org - The Seeing Place named a "Champion" by Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center
     
  Press Release (PDF)- “Men aren’t afraid of dying, but they are afraid of not being remembered…”

 

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Talkbacks

 

Coming soon.

 

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CAST (in alphabetical order):

Erin Cronican* (as Corryn) Favorite credits with The Seeing Place: Boy Gets Girl (Theresa Bedell); Othello (Desdemona); The Laramie Project (Mercedes Herrero Track/Co-Director); Dying City (Kelly); A Lie of the Mind (Beth), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Roberta), and Closer (Anna). Regional favorites: The Last Five Years, Angels in America, Wit, Subways Are For Sleeping, and Evita. She has appeared on “Veronica Mars,” and “One Life to Live,” and can be seen in Paul Giamatti’s film, “Cold Souls” (among others.) Proud member of AEA & SAG-AFTRA. Learn more at www.erincronican.com.
   
Susan Izatt * (as Heather) Favorite NYC & Regional Roles for Susan include: Rita, EDUCATING RITA (won critic’s “Best Actress”); Princess Ira in Verse Theatre’s 1953 PAUL RAINE (Poet Laureate); Duchess of Glouster in Tribeca Lab’s RICHARD II; Kathy in NORTHERN COUNTRY at Henry Street (Dorothy Linman directing); Off-Broadway: Julia in THAT ILK. As a Company Artist at The Workshop Theatre Co NYC: Judy in A MEMORY PLAY, (Director Fabulous Darshan, Bob Stewart)
   
Natalie Neckyfarow* (as Understudy: Heather & Corryn) Natalie is passionate about telling stories that help people see (new) possibilities for themselves and world around them. Originally from Charlotte, NC, she began her performance career as a dancer and began transitioning into acting shortly after moving to New York City. She has studied with Michelle Bossy, Halley Feiffer, Matthew Corozine, Jen Waldman, and Lynn Singer, among others. Natalie recently played Deb in Ordinary Days to benefit the Autism Theatre Initiative, which she also produced. Other favorite credits include: Theatre: Bloodletters, Love's Labour's Lost, (Jacquenetta), Into The Woods (Lucinda). Film/TV: "Sci-Fi High: The Movie Musical", "Time Trumpet." Member AEA, SAG-AFTRA. www.natalieneckyfarow.com
 
* = Member of AEA

 

Creative Team:

Director

Brandon Walker - Brandon has served as The Seeing Place Theater's Artistic Director since 2009. Before moving to New York, he was the Associate Artistic Director of Poor Players Theatre Company in San Diego for six years, where he acted in over 20 Shakespearean productions. He has also produced with Life Out Loud and Actors Alliance of San Diego. He is a award winning actor, director, producer, acting coach, playwright, singer, musician, and composer. He was recently nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role for his performance as Danny in The Seeing Place Theater's Off-Broadway production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Brandon has directed six plays and several readings with The Seeing Place, where he has also acted in 13 productions and led several workshops of new plays - most notably the World Premieres of Scotch Kiss and When We Have Gone Astray, which were both written for The Seeing Place Ensemble and developed through improvisation.
 

 

Assistant Director

Candice Oden - Credits with The Seeing Place include: Carla (BOYS' LIFE); Stage Manager for BOY GETS GIRL and OTHELLO. National Tours: MUSIC OF THE NIGHT (Eva Peron), LULLABY OF BROADWAY (Eva Peron), THE QUEST (Everyone Else). Los Angeles Workshops: BLACK DENIM TROUSERS & MOTORCYCLE BOOTS (Janet), SAMMY: A MUSICAL (Lady Captain), SHEBA THE MUSICAL (Irit). New York Workshops/Readings: AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN (Pre-Broadway workshop) and THE BEAR (reading with The Seeing Place.) Regional Theatre: HOT MIKADO (Pitti-Sing), A WELK MUSICAL CHRISTMAS (Featured Vocalist), CINDERELLA (Fairy Godmother [Inland Theatre League Award, Best Actress]),THE GOODBYE GIRL (Melanie), THE WIZARD OF OZ and more. Improv: Little Britches (Co-Founder and performer), Brooklyn Improv Group, Accomplice The Show (Village & NY). Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA

 

 

Lighting Design Duane Pagano - Duane would like to thank all involved for the opportunity to be a part of these productions. He has designed for any number of productions throughout NYC, including the Lighting for the musical WHAT DO CRITICS KNOW currently in the NYMF, THE NAVIGATOR at the WorkShop Theater Co. for which he received the NYIT award for his Lighting Design as well as a Scenic Design nomination. Off-Broadway credits include the set and lighting designs for Alternative Theater’s THE GAYEST CHRISTMAS PAGAENT EVER at The Players Theatre, OLYMPICS UBER ALLES at St. Lukes Theater and ROMEO AND JULIET for Theater Rats. Other highlights include, GODSPELL for the Circuit Playhouse in Memphis, TN, which garnered him the Best Lighting Design Award for Memphis theater and graduating from the Univ. of Miami. As always, he dedicates his work to his biggest fan.
   

 

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