A play by Peter Shaffer
The Avenue Theatre (Denver, CO)
October 29 – November 21, 2015
Equus by Peter Shaffer is the telling of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses. Shaffer constructs numerous devices to inform the narrative. Most important are religious and ritual sacrifice themes, and the manner in which the young man creates a personal theology involving horses and the supreme godhead, “Equus”. Also important is Shaffer’s examination of the conflict between personal values and satisfaction and societal mores, expectations and institutions.
For this production, a single cello was used to create a simple but at times layered and discordant sound design. Single, elongated notes were used for the transitions to mirror Shaffer’s unfolding tale – each note adding a piece though never satisfying the whole. It is only at the end of the work that we find the notes coming together – each sound layered upon the other. The notes assemble not in a perfectly ordered melodic structure but rather in a psychological cacophony of madness and release.
Director: Warren Sherrill
Stage Manager: Maegan Burnell
Producers: John Ashton / Abby Apple Boes
Compelling, Powerful Equus, (North Denver Tribune)