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EQUUS - the long-awaited Los Angeles return!
The Chandler Studio Theatre Center
Valley Village, CA
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EQUUS - the long-awaited Los Angeles return!
Restored to its original roots in England in the early 1970s, EQUUS blazes anew with theatrical life this summer at The Chandler Studio Theatre under the lead of The Production Companys Artistic Director August Viverito.

One night in England a young stable hand attacked six horses in their stable. He systematically put their eyes out. It seems motiveless. He loved horses. He almost worshiped them - yet one night, one by one, in an incomprehensible act of violence he blinded them. Why?  The boy was sick. Of course, he was sick, but why?

The disturbed boy is placed in an institution under the care of a psychiatrist. The boy has perpetrated a crime that is not only senseless but also bizarre. The pattern of the crime runs not just contrary to nature but contains elements of grotesque fantasy. Why blind horses? A madman might kill them, wound them in some crazed passion, but to carefully if frenziedly blind six horses suggests a certain method in the madness.

When he first meets the psychiatrist he refuses to answer any questions - his only response is to gabble - sing advertising jingles with a mocking despair. His mind is closed up by the secret of his tragedy. The psychiatrist decides to un-clam it - to exorcise the ghost.  Soon the doctor comes to realize the uniqueness of the boy. "That boy," he says, "has known a passion more intense than any I felt all my life." He does not excuse, of course, the horrific results of that passion, but he is sheerly impressed by the Dionysiac strength of its existence. He can patch up the boy's tortured mind and psyche, and send it out on the street, but what will be lost in spiritual energy? "Passion can be destroyed by a doctor, it cannot be created."

True to its original Tony-winning concept, the theater is set up here as a kind of bullring with a section of the audience actually sitting on stage, like confident graduate students watching a class. And most adroitly Mr. Shaffers play runs through many of the patterns of clinical psychiatry from elementary hypnotism to the abreaction, whereby the patient re-enacts circumstances of his trauma.  This allows us to watch the events leading up to that tragic night unfold in real time.  It is a play for all people and yet it has a most refreshing and mind-opening intellectualism. It has the power of thought to it. Take one: "A child is born into a world of phenomena, all equal in their power to enslave." This, just as a sample, has a quality of thoughtfulness to it that is rare and demonstrates Mr. Shaffer's masterly command of the theater.

The performances blaze with theatrical life.   Dr. Martin Dysart is brilliantly played with conflicted sensitivity by Jim Hanna, recently seem in The Ark Theatres The Mystery of Irma Vep.   Alan Strang is a theatrical revelation as inhabited by the boyish Patrick Stafford with indelible passion and heart-rending desperation.  It is a production full of mesmerizing performances including Karen Furno,  John Joyce III, Gretchen Koerner, Skip Pipo, Aaron Misakian, Michael Rachlis, & Lauren Schneider.

Director August Viverito has guided his company to Seven Ovation Award nominations and eight LA Weekly award nominations  many for outstanding performances and direction - and here has assembled yet another brilliant cast and crew including Ric Zimmerman as lighting designer and T L Kolman as producer/assistant director.  Both mind-blowing and entertaining, August has rendered the play with humanity and humor, enhancing its theatrical intensity.   EQUUS at The Chandler is a production to be seen.
Written by Peter Shaffer                        Directed by August Viverito
Karen Furno      Jim Hanna      John Joyce III      Gretchen Koerner     Skip Pipo
Aaron Misakian      Michael Rachlis      Lauren Schneider      Patrick Stafford
Assistant Directed by T L Kolman
Lighting Design: Ric Zimmerman        Equestrian Advisor: Kelly Graham      Dialect Coach: Armand DesHarnais
July 3rd through August 22nd, 2009 - Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM,  Sunday Matinees 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, & 8/16 at 3 PM
The Chandler Studio Theatre Center - 12443 Chandler Boulevard - North Hollywood, CA 91607
Tickets $20 - $25.  charge your tickets at or 1-800-838-3006.   Cash only at the door.



The Chandler Studio Theatre Center
12443 Chandler Blvd.
Valley Village, CA 91607
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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