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Many plays rely on fancy lighting and expansive sets to establish the environment. But the Arts House Theatre Company production of Equus is foregoing the glitz and relying on the actors to capture the imagination of the audience. "It's a very basic set," stage manager and College junior Mike Hanley explained. "So the actors have to make you believe." Equus is a psychological drama about a seventeen year-old boy who blinds five horses by gouging them with a metal spike. Most of the story is presented from the point of view of the doctor who is trying to cure the boy's obsession with horses. But the doctor must also deal with his own internal conflicts. "The kid is crazy, but he knows more about feeling than the doctor can imagine," assistant director and College junior Doug Gilmartin said. "It's a question of whether society can stamp people into a mold." Unlike the traditional staging of Equus, this one does not feature elaborate costuming and props. Horses are represented by wire-frame horse heads that allow the actors' expressions to be seen through the mesh. "We wanted to use their faces," Gilmartin said. "It makes it a lot more suspenseful to see those eyes." Equus is being presented in the High Rise East Rathskellar, which seats 60 people, so the audience will be intimate with all action on the stage. "It's very close and intense so it can be unnerving," Gilmartin said. Equus will open tonight and will run this Friday and Saturday, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next week. All shows are at 8 p.m. in the Rathskellar. Tickets are $5 and will be sold on Locust Walk, the Annenberg Box Office, and at the door.

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