My Favorite Story From “The Onion”

Second-Graders Wow Audience With School Production Of Equus

January 25, 2006 | Issue 42•04

NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Second-grade students at Franklin Elementary School impressed parents, teachers, and fellow students with their recent production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus Friday.

Enlarge Image Second-Graders Wow Audience With School Production Of <I>Equus</I>Alan Strang (Kyle Keever, 7) prepares to blind a horse (Kate Piper, 7).

The avant-garde play, described by audience members as “adorable,” was originally produced in London in 1973. The story revolves around troubled 17-year-old Alan Strang, played by Kyle Keever, 7, and his encounters with his psychiatrist after he blinds six horses with a metal spike. The play focuses on the causes underlying a seemingly senseless act of violence, and forces characters and audience members alike to confront questions of responsibility and ultimate meaning.

“The kids loved it,” teacher and director Michael Komarek said. “Once they stopped screaming about horses getting their eyes gouged out and realized that it was just a launching point for more complex ideas about alienation from the modern world, they rolled up their sleeves and dug right in.”

Despite its truncated 30-minute length and shoestring budget, the production—which received a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd of 65 in the school cafeteria—attested to the resonant themes of Shaffer’s play.

 

Read the full story here.

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