Sketch of Gidion’s Knot by Thomas Thorspecken

Thomas Thorspecken (Thor) sketches Gidion's Knot at Theater On The Edge.

"Once again Theater on the Edge has delivered a stunning relevant production." - by Thoman Thorspecken


Gidion's Knot hits hard at Theater on the Edge.

The set was a hyper real children's 5th grade classroom in the Lake Forest suburb of Chicago. Bright colors filled the room. A poster shouted, "Feel the Learn!" The house lights faded and a single spot light illuminated a poster in the center of the wall about the Gordian Knot. In this legend it was announced that anyone who could undo a particularly intricate knot would rule Asia. Alexander the Great stepped up and cut the knot with his sword.

Johanna Adams play, Gideon's Knot is about a simple parent teacher meeting. The teacher, Heather, (Krystal Glover) was sobbing alone at her desk when the lights came up.She is startled by a knock on the classroom door and she dyed her eyes to see who was there. Corryn, a mom (Natalie Bulajic) was at the door seeking assistance since she had showed up for a parent teacher conference. Heather sent her to the front desk but Corryn returned since the meeting was with heather.

In the awkward exchange that followed it became clear that this was the mom of a child who had just committed suicide. Both actresses were visibly upset for the duration of the play, each harboring their own inner guilt and uncertainty. The play tackled a wide variety of themes straight on like freedom of expression, the purpose of art, innocence, responsibility, cowardice, rage, bullying and love.

Corryn's son Gideon had been expelled from school for writing a school paper that incorporated grizzly detailed descriptions of teachers being dismembered and raped by students. The mom insisted that the teacher read her excerpts from the story. Rather than being repulsed, she recognized themes of Greek battle literature that she herself taught masters degree students. She loved what she heard, and she hated the teacher for censoring her child. More important she blamed Heather for her child's death.

However it later surfaced that her son was attracted to other boys and may have been bullied because of that attraction. She realized that he had kept the paper from her and more importantly he couldn't come out to her. She sobbed realizing she wasn't a good enough mother to earn his trust. Although never discussed, Gideon had easy access to a gun which is a theme so relevant today after Pulse and Parkland took so many lives here in Florida.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youths from ages 10 to 24. LGBT youth are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide compare to heterosexual youth. This play will leave you thinking long after you leave the theater. Once again Theater on the Edge has delivered a stunning relevant production.