Reno Stage Scene; ‘Things I Know to Be True’ at Restless Artists Theatre Company

Things I Know to Be True

“Things I Know to Be True” explores One family’s dynamic transformation that will change each of their lives forever. This powerful play will take you on an intensely emotional ride.

~Review and Photos by Dana Nöllsch~

The Play 

Written in 2016, Things I Know to Be True is by Australian playwright Andrew Bovell. Bovell is known for his award-winning play Speaking in Tongues and many other plays and film credits. Initially set in Australia, Bovell adapted the location to the Midwestern United States for American productions.

The Story of Things I Know to Be True

Things I Know to Be True follows the Price Family through the most dramatic year anyone could imagine one family going through. The Prices are an average suburban family consisting of Bob (the dad), Fran (the mom), Rosie (The Little Sister), Pip (the oldest daughter), Mark (the oldest son), and Ben (the little brother). With the children all grown up, Bob and Fran are thinking of how life will be in their future.

Rosie, the youngest daughter, starts the story as she travels Europe during her gap year. She is seeking adventure that she could not find at home. But Rosie soon finds herself back at home.

Then, we see Bob and Fran in the backyard of the famiy house. Bob busies himself with the garden as he is newly retired from his job of 30 years. Fran works as a nurse and takes a very active role in her children’s lives.

Pip is the oldest of the four siblings and she has two children of her own. Torn between family and career, Pip finds herself at a crossroads. Pip’s mother has her own image of how Pip should act and what choices she should make.

Ben works in IT and is very proud of his success. Ben is busy acquiring things to make himself feel more important. This overcompensation leads him down a darker path than his parents ever could’ve thought.

Mark, the oldest brother, has always held a secret. His family has long suspected his secret. But when the secret is finally revealed, it is a bit more intense than anybody could imagine.

These individual stories converge in one terrible moment that no one saw coming. 

Extraordinarily well-written and tight, Things I Know to Be True is a deep look into the family dynamic and character of each Price family member.

Here are some photos from Things I Know to Be True

The Performances

The ensemble cast is exceptional, combined with the focused directing of Doug Mishler, and you have performances that you will not want to miss.

Derek Sullivan and Wendy Feign bring the dynamic energy of a couple facing the changes of the empty nest and retirement to the stage. 

Ally Abatangelo is compelling as Rosie, the clan’s youngest kid, takes those first steps out of the safety she has known into the world outside. 

Tesia Jankowski is great as the oldest of the siblings, Pip, shows us the daughter who wants to step out of the shadow of her mother and find her own identity.  

As the son searches for his place in the working world, Jonathan Gastello plays Ben, emoting the frustration of a young man making the wrong choices to satisfy his ego. 

As the brother with a secret, Ron Flesher, playing Mark, shows the audience how keeping a secret from your family is devastating and how choosing to be who you truly are is both challenging and freeing.

These actors take the audience on an emotional journey that, by the end of the play, makes each audience member feel for each character as if they were their friends.

What about the Set

The play takes place mainly in the immaculately groomed backyard of the Price Family home. There are many memories contained in this place for the entire family. The details of the set are spot on in bringing the mood of this vital family refuge.

Bottom Line

Although Things I Know to Be True is an intense story that may be a bit tragic, don’t let that stop you from the chance to experience the outstanding performances and profoundly moving story.

Things I Know to Be True

By Andrew Bovell

Directed by Doug Mishler


Rosie: Ally Abatangelo

Bob: Derek Sullivan

Fran: Wendy Feign

Pip: Tesia Jankowski

Ben: Jonathan Gastello

Mark: Ron Flesher

Performance Dates

December 29th -January 8th

Restless Artists Theatre Company

295 20th Street, Sparks

​775 525-3074


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