GOD OF OBSIDIAN presented by Gideon Productions as part of the 2017 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief. –Wikipedia
Gideon Productions ups the creep factor with a strong, engaging script from playwright Mac Rogers. I enjoyed the Brothers Grimm undertones to the story.
As Alice, Rebecca Comtois is fascinating to watch as her new and happy relationship descends into one of mental abuse and manipulation. Emotionally, her performance rings true and believable as she struggles to remember who she is and reassert her independence.
Mac Rogers is equally strong as congenial and earnest Nathan. Even though the character doesn’t change much superficially, the machinations under the surface are there and fascinating to watch. He pretty much embodies that “he was quiet and kept to himself, but always seemed so nice” serial killer quality.
Director Jordana Williams keeps the pacing strong and uses the play space effectively. The upstage use of the bridge worked very well. There was one point near the middle of the performance where I felt it was starting to lose momentum but the show quickly rebounded.
At the performance I attended, part of the “fun” of the performance was the audience’s physical and verbal reactions as the story unfolded. Very interesting, well-written and strongly performed, but I felt like I needed a shower after it was over. The final performance is tonight, June 5th.