The Knot – Co-Director, Co-Playwright

The Knot President
The Knot delves into the very human impulse to locate our origins. Tracing one woman’s journeys back to West Africa, again and again, across multiple time periods and in multiple bodies, The Knot suggests that however alone we may feel on our journey, we carry tapestries of rich history inside us. The cast included undergraduate and graduate students.


Student responses to the performance

Mantoan and Schiller write that they wanted “The Knot” to be a “meditation on the push and pull of diasporas.” I appreciated how they paid keen attention to the idea that there are multiple diasporas. Indeed, for the playwright all movement was diaspora: the journey from life to death, the journey from America to Africa, and even the journey from one location to the other. By having the God of Water, Air, Fire, and Earth push around the characters on the stage with their dance, the directors gestured to the way we as humans are compelled by a natural instinct to move, to travel, to discover. What was also particularly powerful about this play was how it resisted static judgment on the ethics of diaspora. Rather, it presented a complex and nuanced depiction of how complicated diasporas can be.

I … think that the racial diversity of the cast members makes the play more powerful since it implies that we all have ancestral memory, and, at the end of the day we are all human/intertwined. Moreover, the idea of home being abstract/inside of us opposed to being bound to a physical place is beautiful.

I was absolutely seduced by “The Knot.” The use of multiple media sources made this experience palpable and compelling. Having the actresses interact with the media projection gave the play depth and vision – as a spectator I felt drawn into the scenes in front of me.

View the full production here:

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