NextStop Theatre Kicks of 2014/2015 Season with Powerful Anti-Bullying Back-to-School Message

Herndon, VA/Washington, D.C. – At the forefront of the minds of parents this time of year is back-to-school, with newly fallen leaves, fresh clothes, and packed lunches being a top priority for families.  In its 2014/2015 season premiere, NextStop Theatre and Forum Theatre address an issue many parents fear when putting their loved ones on the school bus in a new co-produced play surrounding the harsh realities of bullying, suicide, self-expression, academic standards, the parent-teacher relationship, and school violence.

Gidion’s Knot, running from August 28 to September 14, is a powerful 80-minute work, cited in 2013 by the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association.  Gidion’s Knot depicts a parent/teacher conference with a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher’s conversation about the tragic suicide of the mother’s son, Gidion.  As the story of Gidion’s suicide is slowly uncovered, the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gidion’s act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of guilt.

“We are so proud to be bringing this important play to the Dulles Corridor,” said Evan  Hoffman, Producing Artistic Director for the NextStop Theatre Company. “This play offers a stark examination of some of the most difficult issues that face the students, parents and teachers in our community everyday.”

The cast will be led by 2007 Helen Hayes Award winner Caroline Stefanie Clay (Broadway and National Tour: Doubt) as Corryn andKaty Carkuff (Forum Theatre: 9 Circles and Marat/Sade) as Heather Clark.  The creative team behind the production includes Johnna Adams (Playwright), Christina Alicea (Director), Scott Hengen (Scenic Design), Paul Frydrychowski and Annmarie Castringo (Lighting Design), Brittany Graham (Costume Design), Michael Dove (Sound Design), Deb Crerie (Properties Design), Keta Newborn (Stage Manager), Laura Moody (Assistant Stage Manager), Jon Harvey (Technical Director), and Amy Kellet (Scenic Artist).


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$28*, General Admission available at or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111.

Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended.

*Additional ticketing fees may apply, convenience fees are greater at the door.  For group rates, contact groups@nextstoptheatre.orgor 703-481-5930 x. 0.



NextStop’s Industrial Strength Theatre

269 Sunset Park Dr.

Herndon, VA 20170




Thursday, August 28th at 7:30pm

Fridays at 8:00pm

Saturdays at 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm



NextStop Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Wheelchair accessible seating and “no-stairs” seating may be purchased online or by calling the box office.




Twitter: @NextStopTheatre

NextStop Theatre Company is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company that produces theatrical performances and educational programs that are uniquely intimateepic, and accessible, in and for Northern Virginia’s Dulles Corridor community. Founded in 1988, the company operated for twenty-five years as the Elden Street Players (ESP), an all volunteer community theatre. During that time, ESP established themselves as one of the most ambitious and respected theatre companies in Northern Virginia. In 2013, the company made the bold decision to reach for even greater heights of artistic achievement and re-configured the organization as a professional, regional theatre. Today, NextStop is drawing upon their long tradition of excellence and the wide array of artistic talent in our region to become one of the fastest growing and exciting theatre companies in the DC Metropolitan area.


Johnna Adams (Playwright) received a Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Citation in April 2013 for her play Gidion’s Knot. She is the 2011 recipient of the Princess Grace Award and a 2012 Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Gidion’s Knot was published in the December 2012 edition of American Theatre Magazine. The Contemporary American Theatre Festival premiered Gidion’s Knot in Shepherdtown, WV, in summer of 2012 and twelve regional productions are planned around the country for the 2013-14 season, including productions at InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia), Profiles (Chicago), Kitchen Dog (Dallas), Stages (Houston) and Furious Theatre Company (Los Angeles).

Flux Theatre Ensemble (New York) produced her play Sans Merci in spring of 2013 in New York. The script was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for best play. Her play Skinless was developed at the 2012 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at the Kennedy Center and read at Rattlestick (New York) in winter of 2012. Her play Lickspittles, Buttonholers, and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens was produced by Impetuous Theatre in autumn of 2013. Johnna’s plays Angel EatersRattlers8 Little AntichristsSans MerciCockfighters and The Sacred Geometry of S&M Porn are published by Original Works Publishing ( and a forthcoming edition of Gidion’s Knot will be published by Dramatists Play Serivce, Inc. Johnna graduated from the DePaul University Theatre School with a BFA in Acting and received a 2012 MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College with Tina Howe.


Cristina Alicea (Director) is the Producing Artistic Director of Vermont Stage Company. During her tenure she has directed The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Venus in Fur by David Ives, and the world premiere of The Quarry by Greg Pierce (SlowgirlThe Landing). Prior to her arrival in Burlington, Cristina spent a year working as the Assistant to the Managing Director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. As a freelance director she has worked with organizations including The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The American Globe Theatre, the FringeNYC Festival, Theatre Rhinoceros, and The Culture Project. Cristina is also the co-founder of MTWorks, a New York City based theatre company and served as its Executive Director for 5 seasons. With MTWorks she directed 5 world premieres and was the creator of their flagship program The National NewBorn Festival. Cristina was a finalist for a Denham fellowship given by the Society of Directors and Choreographers for emerging female directors and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Cristina has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from George Mason University. you can get more info on Cristina at or


Katy Carkuff (Heather Clark) is beyond thrilled and quite grateful for this formidable challenge! Thank you to Cristina and Caroline! Her Forum Theatre credits include 9 Circles and Marat/Sade, as well as their upcoming podcast play Walking the City of Silence and Stone,. Other local credits include Crimes of the Heart and Doubt at Everyman Theatre, P.Nokio: A Hip Hop Musical and Cinderella: The Remix at Imagination Stage, The Taming of the Shrew at Folger Theatre, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Studio 2ndstage, and 10 productions with Constellation Theatre Company, where she is a proud Associate Artist. Katy moved to DC from Atlanta, where her credits include Macbeth (tour) at Georgia Shakespeare, As You Like It at Theater Emory, Beehive! at Theatrical Outfit, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Actor’s Express, The Spitfire Grill at Aurora Theatre, and four shows at her favorite, Dad’s Garage. Up next: One Man, Two Guvnors at 1st Stage.


Caroline Stefanie Clay (Corryn) has appeared on Broadway in Doubt (Broadway and National Tour: Winner of the Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Non-Resident Production, 2007) and The Royal Family. Off-Broadway includes The Public, Atlantic Theatre Co., New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons. Film includes Morning GloryThe HeightsSherrybabyEverybody’s Fine. Caroline has also been seen on TV in Law & Order and SVU, and House of Cards: Season II. She serves as voice/dialect coach on many area productions (Studio Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, African Continuum, and No Rules Theatre Company). She can be seen in the role of Elizabeth Keckley in Ford’s Theatre’s upcoming production of The Widow Lincoln in 2015. She is a proud Washingtonian, graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and the University of Maryland (MFA in Performance: 2013) where she is currently on faculty.


AnnMarie Castrigno (Lighting Designer) credits include NextStopThe 39 StepsGo Dog, Go! Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design at LTA, Master Class (2002), Misery (2000), Murder Room (1999); For WATCH and ACT, Evita (VTC, 2004); For WATCH, Rent (ESP, 2010). WATCH nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design: The Seagull (TAP, 2011), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (TAP, 2009), Sweet Smell of Success (TAP, 2008), Fiddler on the Roof (TAP, 2006), The Weir (ESP, 2005), Kiss Me Kate (TAP, 2003). Other area credits with Ballet NoVA, TACT, ESP and TAP.


Deb Crerie (Properties Designer) has worked all over the DC area, including Spooky Action Theatre’s Kwaidan, The Two Character PlayCandide or Optimism!Kafka on the Shore, 1st Stage Theatre’s Suite SurrenderThe SuicideBy The Bog of CatsThe Violet HourPig FarmHolidayRed HerringThree Days of RainShakespeare’s R&JHumble BoyThe Glass MenagerieDon’t Dress for DinnerMousetrapFuddy MeersMauritiusBy JeevesThe How and the WhyAlmost Maine, and Side Man, and Washington Stage Guild’s Inventing Van Gogh. She was also the painting coach to actor Ryan Tumulty. Deb is happy to be creating and crafting with this talented company.


Paul Frydrychowski (Lighting Designer) is excited to design this show and continue his long relationship with Forum Theatre. Paul has toured the world over, as a freelance designer and technician, as the Lighting Supervisor for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the programmer for the recent remount of Einstein on the Beach, and currently as an electrician for American Ballet Theatre. Despite the times spent away from Forum, it remains one of the proudest parts of Paul’s career, and he always looks forward to the times he gets to spend in this circle.


Brittany Graham (Costume Designer) is a freelance costume, wig, and makeup designer and graduate of UMD. She most recently costume designed for Forum Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Flying V, The Madeira School, and Pointless Theatre Co., and designed wigs and makeup for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Maryland Opera Studio. Brittany is Workroom Supervisor at the Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio.


Michael Dove (Sound Designer) is the Artistic Director of Forum Theatre where he has directed the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Steve Yockey’s PlutoAgnes Under the Big TopHolly Down In Heaven (world premiere), ChurchMad ForestScorchedAngels in America: PerestroikaAmazons and Their Men (co-directed), dark play or stories for boysMarat/SadeAntigoneValparaisoRockaby and Rough for Radio (for the DC Beckett Centenary Festival), The MemorandumHamletmachineBECKETT: The Shorter Plays and the upcoming Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl. His other credits include 4000 Miles at Vermont Stage Company, Side Man at 1st Stage, A View From the Bridge at Cape Fear Regional Theater, The Twelve Days of Christmas by Renee Calarco at Adventure Theatre (world premiere), La Corbière at Solas Nua (co-directed), The Water Engine and Metamorphoses at Montgomery College, as well as shows for the Imagination Stage Conservatory, Source Festival, and the upcoming premiere of Human Capacity at the University of Maryland. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Board Member of theatreWashington.


R. Scott Hengen (Scenic Designer) is making his NextStop Theatre debut. Scott earned his MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Maryland, College Park. He taught technical theatre for the Prince George’s County Magnet High School for Performing Arts. He earned his B.S.(Secondary Education) and B.A.(General Theatre) while minoring in Shakespeare from Penn State University. He is Full-time Faculty, Production Coordinator, and archivist for the Theatre Department at Montgomery College. He designs scenery, properties, and projections for college theatre productions and is Co-Coordinator for the Maryland Area Community College Performing Arts Collective(MACCPAC) and Conference Planner for the Two-Year College Focus Group with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). He has designed scenery professionally for Adventure Theatre, Olney Theatre, Compass Rose Theatre, and Everyman Theatre.


 Keta Newborn (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be joining NextStop Theatre for her first production. As a freelancer, Keta has worked in the world of theatre for over 8 years. Holding a plethora of roles, which include SM, ASM, Venue Manager, Production Assistant and Light & Sound Board Ops. Her past credits include: Optimism! or Voltaire’s Candide (Spooky Action), Italian American ReconciliationPitmen Painters and Side Man (1st Stage) to name a few. Keta would like to thank the Gidioncast, crew, NextStop and Forum Theatre for being apart of an amazing show! She thanks God for giving her the opportunity to do what she loves.