If you are in the mood for an evening of light entertainment, then definitely avoid Henry Ford Community College’s “Equus.” However, if you want to see theater for drama’s sake, then that production should not be missed. Powerful acting by the lead actors, a simple yet effective set and creative directing by George Popovich provide an excellent example of what theater can be.
Randal Kuzdak did a magnificent portrayal of the mentally disturbed Alan Strang. His performance is complemented by the fine characterization of psychiatrist Martin Dysart by Daniel Booth.
Excellent effects with the lights and sound add significantly to the dramatic sense given by Kuzdak and Booth.
Supporting the leads in their powerful portrayals were Kurt Engfehr as Nugget and a horseman, Leah Ankeny as the nurse and one of the horses, Claudia Hawthorne as Hesther, Robb Stempek as Frank Strang, Belinda Biggs as Dora Strang, Lisa McLogan as Jill, Bruce Terral as Harry Dalton and Carla Ross, Susan Murphy and Lidija Nikolovska as horses.
“Equus” follows the examination of the disturbed Strang by Dysart. Strang has been institutionalized for poking out the eyes of several horses. Dysart works to get into Strang’s mind to find out why.
Several lighting and effects sequences ramped up the drama in the show. Notable was a nightmare horse with whips for fingers that glowed an eerie green as it tormented the hapless Alan.
Popovich’s use of the space was innovative and suspenseful. The simple set designed by Popovich suggested a boxing ring, and, at the same time a Greek theatre. Actors used a variety of musical instruments to punch the high moments of the show.
This is definitely a show for lovers of theatre and is a testament to what a creative director and a talented cast can accomplish. The show has a professional glow about it. You will not be disappointed.
The show runs again this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Adray Auditorium on the HFCC campus. Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens
For more information about the show, call 845-9634.
- Alan Strang: Randal Kuzdak
- Nugget/ Horseman: Kurt Engfher
- Martin Dysart: Daniel Booth
- Nurse: Leah Ankeny
- Hesther: Claudia Hawthorne
- Frank Strang: Robb Stempek
- Dora Strang: Belinda Biggs
- Jill: Lisa McLogan
- Harry Dalton: Bruce Terrel
- Horses: Carla Ross, Susan Murphy, Lidjia Nikolvska