Sometimes it is difficult to give a play a rating that I am content with. In the case of “Gideon’s Knot”, now in it’s Midwest Premiere at Profiles Theatre, I fin the acting extraordinary, the staging very intimate , but the story one of great discomfort. Of importance to my readers is, value! Is the play worth the cost of a ticket and in some cases, changing ones schedule to get to the theater at all. Again, while I find the overall production, an 85 minute two person play very intense drama, the content of the story, as it plays out is one that was uncomfortable for many of tonight’s Theater Thursday sold out crowd.
The story is about a meeting between a parent and a teacher, a conference that had been scheduled between these two parties earlier. Since the scheduled date, Gideon, the student who caused the conference to be held has met a tragic event. I certainly do not want to spoil the over all picture that has been painted by playwright Johnna Adams or director Joe Arhaus, who skillfully uses the very small profiles space in a way that makes it appear much larger than it is. Katie-Bell Springmann’s set is a smallish classroom in an elementary school, and despite it being very small, it is very realistic, even to the storage boxes and the wall hangings. There is no mention of the props person in the program, but what we see is every little detail taken into account, making the smallest of items take on an important role in this very taut and tense confrontation between the two women.
The women who have been cast in this play, Laura Hooper as Heather, Gideon’s teacher and the dynamic Amy J. Carle as Corryn, Gideon’s Mother are amazingly comfortable with each other and play off each other very well. The action between the women would be, if there was a separate rating for acting,.
The story is about a boy and why he might do what he has done and if indeed the school system of today, due to regulations and “rules” can really handle the special needs of our youngsters. Can a child be held responsible for what he writes as an essay? Is he or she allowed freedom of expression? In our world of high-tech and kids texting and our ability to see it all on “Facebook”, does the pressure of how we present ourselves grow more difficult than in years gone by?
This play, a powerful message play, explores things that I will not express here, so that you can see it and feel what we felt sitting in the very intimate Profiles Theatre ( The Alley Stage) located at 4147 N. Broadway, where it will continue through March 9th with performances as follows:
Saturdays at 5 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 7 p.m.
Tickets are either $35 or $40 ( general seating) and can be ordered by calling 773-549-1815 or online at www.profilestheatre.org.
There is street parking in the area and discount parking at the lot located at 4100 N. Clarendon ( at BellePlaine).
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Gideon’s Knot”