by Lorie Lewis Ham
Gidion’s Knot opened in Fresno this past weekend, presented by The New Ensemble, and it definitely fits with their goal to provide shows that make you think. I knew going in that I was going to enjoy my night at the theatre because I always enjoy a TNE show.
The show begins with a teacher alone in her classroom obviously distressed over something. A mother comes by for a parent/teacher conference and at first, the teacher is certain she has the wrong room as she has nothing scheduled. However, it turns out that she is wrong. You learn as you watch this story unfold that the mother is keeping a conference with the teacher of her elementary school age son Gidion, who has recently killed himself. She wants to know what happened–searching for answers as to why he would have done this, and perhaps for someone to blame other than herself. As Gidion’s story unfolds, they both try to reconstruct what happened and come to terms with feelings of guilt and rage.
This is a heart wrenching, tragic story of a pointless young death, and it definitely makes you think about bullies, suicide, signs of suicide, freedom of speech, what is genius versus madness, and much more. Brooke Aiello as the mother, and Chelsea Bonilla as the teacher, take the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions, with even a laugh here and there to break the tension. This two person play is fairly short, but leaves you feeling drained, moved and touched by their pain–what more could you ask of a night at the theatre! The pair did a brilliant job of bringing this story to life–I highly recommend seeing Gidion’s Knot. And as always, I have to give credit to the director, Julia Reimer, as well, for the director is the one who puts all the right pieces together and makes it all work!
Another great show TNE! Gidion’s Knot closes November 1 so hurry out to the Fresno Soap Co. Stage and Gallery, 1470 N. Van Ness Ave, in Fresno’s Tower District, and prepare to be moved. Tickets can be purchased through the company website www.newensemble.com or by calling the box office 559-304-4858. TICKETS: $12.50-$14.00.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.