Gidion's Knot | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Michelle Annette and Julie Partyka

Michelle Annette and Julie Partyka

Katie Hunter

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 2 2017
Price: $27, $17 students and seniors
At first Johnna Adams’s two-hander, presented here by Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, feels like a standard-issue message play: a parent and teacher confront each other over a student driven to suicide by his classmates. But as this intense, well-written story unfolds, we soon see Adams is after something much more complex and troubling than reminding us that bullying is bad. Instead, she strips away the veneer of civility, showing us what happens when two lonely, raw, damaged people clash and clash again, each seeking to destroy the other—or at least to find someone else to blame for the tragic death. It helps that Michelle Annette and Julie Partyka feel so free to play so rough—by the end of the play the two look as shaken as the audience by what has unfolded before our eyes—and that director Katherine Siegel succeeds in making her production riveting but not histrionic. —Jack Helbig


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