‘Gidion’s Knot’ review: Play is tough, uncomfortable, well-wrought
by Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press
“There are many things to admire about Johnna Adams’ play, “Gidion’s Knot,” now on stage at Pillsbury House Theatre. It’s a brave, disturbing but accessible piece of theater that offers contemporary resonances and eschews easy answers.” Read the full review »
‘Gidion’s Knot,’ Johnna Adams’ tense drama, makes Minnesota premiere at Pillsbury House
by Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
“A topical two-hander about free speech, violence and the effects of bullying, Adams’ play is a study in tragic tension.” Read the full review »
“Gidion’s Knot” at Pillsbury House Theater – Review by Cherry and Spoon
“All you need to know is that it’s an intense 90 minutes of theater dealing with issues that face kids and parents and teachers today, well-written and brilliantly acted.” Read the full review »
A violent acts haunts the characters in Gidion’s Knot
by Ed Huyck, City Pages
“The two spar for more than an hour, giving the two actors, Laura Esping as Ms. Clark and Aditi Kapil as Corryn, a challenging platform on which to thrive. Johnna Adams’ script provides them both a chance to create characters with real depth and plenty of rough edges to create friction” Read the full review »
Artscape: On “Matisse” at MIA, “Gidion’s Knot” at Pillsbury, and ticket-buying issues at Orchestra Hall
by Pamela Espeland, MinnPost
“Laura Esping and Aditi Kapil are two strong actors in difficult roles’” Read the full review »
Playwright Johnna Adams makes Minn. debut with ‘Gidion’s Knot’
by Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
“It has taken Johnna Adams two decades and a similar number of plays to achieve a taste of the commercial success of which most American playwrights dream. And she is one of the lucky ones.” Read the full story »
You’re not looking at this in the right light
by Allison Bolah
You’re not looking at this in the right light is a multi-media installation by artist Allison Bolah in response to the play Gidion’s Knot. The installation considers both Pillsbury House’s community and facilities as it explores young people’s experiences of miscommunication. Through video, still photographs, ‘classroom’ installations, and web-based pieces, this project engages youth and adults who use the Pillsbury House space.
Join us for an Opening Reception on Friday, Feb. 23.
Installation is up through the run of Gidion’s Knot, Mar. 23
From the artist:
Because Gideon’s Knot hinges on adult interpretations of children’s texts in a public primary school setting, the central theme in You’re not looking at this in the right light is sending/receiving meaning. As a former Language Arts instructor, I have experienced the diverse ways an off-hand utterance or a poem decoded in the classroom results in ripples of tension or insight. To make full use of Pillsbury House’s space, I’ve planned installations for each floor of the building including its ‘fourth’ floor, the online presence.
In the first floor lobby, video and ‘classroom’ installations gives voice to young people from Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program who, like the young people mentioned in the play, are often only heard through their writing. Collected texts of being misunderstood are de- and re-contextualized in youth performances and written ‘assignments’.
The second floor–the “home” of Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program–features photographs taken of youth as they share their stories to maintain a connection to the ‘origin’ of some of the texts from the first floor.
On the third floor, in the Health Clinic waiting area off the elevator, is a desk, chair, and additional ‘assignments’ echoing the first floor installation.
As a public component of this project, a web installation will include excerpts from the larger installation and an interactive installation dealing with the interpretation of text similar to the ‘classroom’ installations on the first and third floors.
Allison Bolah was born in Alberta, Canada in 1975. Her interdisciplinary practice draws on experiences with literature and photography; in installations of video, sound, and paper-based objects, she documents the ways language and gesture shape identity and create complex worlds of human relationships. In awareness of W.E.B. Du Bois’ theory of double-consciousness, she is mindful that her work belongs to and ‘reads’ differently in her various communities and thus seeks opportunities to show her work in non-traditional spaces.
Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. She has developed book arts projects as the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Collegiate Fellow. She was recently awarded a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.
She will complete her MFA in Visual Studies at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2014.
This project is made possible through the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by the Theater Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.
Deadline for Submission:
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 10th, 2014.
E-mail completed applications to [email protected] or deliver to:
Pillsbury House Theatre, Attn: Naked Stages
3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407
February 24, 6:30 pm at CHAT, 995 University Ave W Suite #220, Saint Paul
February 25, 6:30 pm at Pillsbury House + Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis
These Info Sessions will cover the history of the program, the goals of the fellowship, and what the panel looks for in making its selections. We will also cover the difference between applying to create a performance art piece for the stage verses a performance art installation.
Contact [email protected] with any questions or help with your application process.
About the Naked Stages Program
The goal of this program is to assist artists in acquiring tools to opportunities in performance, critical response skills, marketing, and technical production. This program emphasizes the development of artistic process rather than technical production. To this end, artists are not permitted to supplement their technical budget with additional grant funds. Artists are expected to be in residence in the Twin Cities for the mentorship program and production period. This is a time intensive program and artists should consider their ability to commit to the program prior to the application process.
The selected artists meet as a group to participate in workshops and provide a critical and supportive environment for creating work. All parts of this process will be coordinated and facilitated by the Program Artistic Director. Artists receive support for marketing, technical production, and photo and video documentation from the Pillsbury House Theatre staff. Two artists will share a two-weekend run at Pillsbury House Theatre December 11th – 13th and 18th – 20th, 2014, and one instillation-based artist will set their own schedule depending on their concept.
Selections will be announced on March 22nd, 2014, and the program will begin March 23rd from 10-1 pm with a mandatory meeting.
Tracey Scott Wilson will work with the Pillsbury House Theatre to produce Prep, a play about a group of teachers changing their students’ test scores to receive yearly bonuses. Racial and sexual tensions arise as the teachers try to cover their transgressions.
“Recently, the Twin Cities have experienced a series of noteworthy events with racial overtones that have stirred deep emotions and conflict in our communities. Tracey will immerse herself in conversation with Minneapolis residents that have been a part of these experiences,” explains co-artistic director Faye Price. “As with all of Tracey’s work, we’re looking forward to a play that sparks real conversations about race that move beyond political correctness into the subjects we think are off-limits but shouldn’t be.” Production is scheduled for fall of 2015.
Another award supports the Guthrie Theater and Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. The theater will stage a premiere production of Reading Play, a play Nottage started writing after interviewing the people of Reading, Pa., named the poorest city in America in 2011.
“Nottage will host a series of classes for local playwrights and public forums with more than 300 Minneapolis schools, places of worship, diversity groups and nonprofits,” said Joe Dowling, director of the Guthrie Theater. “Participants will explore the themes of poverty in Reading Play juxtaposed with the city’s own struggles with poverty.” The Guthrie will offer $2 tickets for public assistance programs and human services agencies.
Arts organizations from Minneapolis-St. Paul have received more Joyce Awards than any other city. Last year, the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Concerts and Lectures earned a grant for, SHORE, a dance piece by Emily Johnson debuting at the Northrop’s grand re-opening this spring. Public Art St. Paul also received a grant for a Seitu Jones performing art work, Community Meal, planned for September as part of the Central Corridor Public Art Plan.
“There’s no denying the strength of the arts community in the Twin Cities,” said Angelique Power, head of The Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program. “We’re honored to play an important role in keeping this scene vibrant through these diverse and important works taking place at the Guthrie and Pillsbury House Theatre.”
An anonymous national panel of cultural organization and business leaders selected the 2014 Joyce Award winners. This year’s panelists included leaders from the Museum of Modern Art, Theatre Communications Group, the Southwest Latino Art Council and Ariel Capital Management. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards is the only program supporting artists of color in major Midwest cities. Theater, dance and classical music artists are all represented in this year’s awards, which aim to strengthen cross-cultural understanding by bringing diverse audiences together.
Other 2014 Joyce Award winners include choreographer Camille A. Brown, collaborating with DANCE Cleveland to create Black Girl, a powerful dance and music composition that will expose the emotional and racial complexities of young, black women; and Jessie Montgomery, joining the Sphinx Organization in Detroit to compose, “Banner!” a tribute to the bicentennial anniversary of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Learn more about the Joyce Foundation at www.joycefdn.org
Over the course of a 90 minute parent/teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed fifth grade teacher have a fraught conversation about the mother’s son, the teacher’s student, Gidion. As his tragic story is slowly uncovered, the women wrestle with issues in the undercurrent of education today–is the system supporting our youth or forcing them to conform? Who is responsible when things go wrong?
by Johnna Adams, directed by Noël Raymond
starring Laura Esping and Aditi Kapil
February 21 – March 23, 2014
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm
Additional Important Dates:
- Post-Show Discussions with our Community Partner, Minnesota PTA:
Sunday, March 2; Thursday, March 6; Wednesday, March 12; and Friday, March 21
- Free Child Care: Wednesday, March 5 and Sunday, March 16. (Call 612-825-0459 for reservations.)
- ASL Interpreted Performance: Sunday, March 16. Interpreters: Breanna Murray and Jonella Titus.
- Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, March 15. Audio-description by: Rick Jacobson.
All tickets are Pay-What-You-Want. Pick your own price for every performance, every night. (Regular price: $25)
But tickets online or call 612-825-0459.
Note: Gidion’s Knot contains graphic, violent language. Not suited for ages 14 or younger.
Run time: 75 minutes, no intermission.
You’re not looking at this in the right light
You’re not looking at this in the right light is a multi-media installation by Allison Bolah in response to Gidion’s Knot. The installation considers both Pillsbury House’s community and facilities as it explores young people’s experiences of miscommunication. Through video, still photographs, ‘classroom’ installations, and web-based pieces, this project engages youth and adults who use the Pillsbury House space. Read more…