Directorset designer August Viverito and his colleagues have mastered the art of clarity and intensity when working in a tiny space such as this. Peter Shaffers drama has always told the harrowing tale of psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Jim Hanna), who must discover why a severely troubled teenager, Alan Strang (Patrick Stafford), has gouged out the eyes of six horses with a hoof pick. Whats different here is that Hannas Dysart suffers an anguish at least as deep as the boys, and this carries the play from clever melodrama into the realm of tragedy. Dysart slowly realizes that Alan has evolved his own bizarre religion, in which horses are his gods and has enacted a strange Passion Play. The doctor understands that to cure the boy, he must take from him the richest and most profound experience of his life. The boys fierce passion forces Dysart to recognize the barrenness and aridity of his own existence. Viverito has cast it beautifully, with riveting performances by Hanna, Stafford and a splendid supporting cast, who make us feel the play, as well as understand it.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: July 3. Continues through Sept. 5, 2009