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This past weekend, on Saturday, November 7th, I went to the National Technical Institute’s Panara Theater to watch NTID Performing Arts’ Equus. This psychological thriller is about a young boy, Alan Strang, who blinds six horses and is sent to a juvenile psychiatric hospital where he is evaluated and treated by Dr. Martin Dysart. Dr. Dysart has to discover what lead Alan to attack the horses by exploring Alan’s mind. However, during this, Dr. Dysart is also facing his own problems: a routine life, wondering if his job means anything anymore, and if he is really helping any children. This performance explores the ideas of religion, the price of being “normal,” and assigning “fault” for a tragedy.
This performance was beautifully done by the actors. There was one set used throughout the entire play with few modifications to indicate different locations. The horses were people dressed in brown clothing, a horse head made of wire, and silts as “hooves.” The horse heads were handmade and just truly amazing. Another fascinating aspect of this play was the combination of deaf actors and voice actors. The deaf actors would be performing the play and in the background, their voice actors say the lines in tune with the signing. At first, I was distracted by the voice actors in the background, but as the show went on, I found the deaf actors to be very expressive and their voice actors would be well attune to them to the point where I could believe the voices were coming from the deaf actors themselves. This was the first play I saw at NTID and I cannot believe that I did not go last year. The best part for me was watching the six horses (played by the voice actors) come onto the stage. This was such a coordinated “dance.” They stomped their “hooves” in unison while climbing up and down stairs. Even when they were putting on their masks, it was very well-coordinated and beautiful.
I would recommend if anyone ever gets the chance, to watch an NTID Performing Arts show. Here is a link to the NTID Performing Arts page: http://www.rit.edu/~w-npart/equus.html
This will be a great experience for learning more about RIT!
Equus Poster I saw