Photo Spotlight: AstonRep’s EQUUS

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2019-20 season with Peter Shaffer’s psychological thriller EQUUS, directed by Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen*, playing September 27 – October 27, 2019 at AstonRep’s new home, The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

The cast includes company members Alexandra Bennett* and Robert Tobin* with Malia HuRian JairellSean William KellyJulie PartykaJordan Pokorney and Andrew Whatley. Understudy: Billy Sullivan.

Inspired by a true story, EQUUS sets out to explore the complex relationships between devotion and myth. When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses in a Hampshire stable, psychiatrist Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy’s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

Comments Co-Artistic Director Derek Bertelsen*, “Peter Shaffer’s gripping psychological thriller is a timeless classic and a cornerstone of modern drama. It’s the perfect play for AstonRep and we’re incredibly excited to bring this show to life at our new home at the Edge Theater.”

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The production team to date includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic and puppetry design), kClare McKellaston (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design), Derek Bertelsen* (sound design), Sara Pavlak McGuire* (casting director), Claire Yearman (intimacy/violence choreographer), Claire Allegra Taylor (movement director), Bethany Hart (dialect coach) and Kamren Smith (assistant director, stage manager).

About the Artists

Sir Peter Shaffer (Playwright) plays include: Five-Finger Exercise (1960), The Private EarThe Public Eye (both 1962) and The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964). In 1965, Shaffer’s adroit farce Black Comedy was performed. Equus (1973; filmed 1977), dealing with a mentally disturbed stable boy’s obsession with horses, and Amadeus (1979; filmed 1984), about the rivalry between Mozart and his fellow composer Antonio Salieri, were successes with both critics and the public. Later plays include the biblical epic Yonadab (1985), Lettice and Lovage (1987) and The Gift of the Gorgon (1992). Shaffer was knighted in 2001 and passed away in 2016. 

Derek Bertelsen (Director) joined AstonRep in 2013 and he currently serves as Co-Artistic Director. Previous directing credits with AstonRep include DoubtNext FallWitThe Lieutenant of InishmoreThe Lyons, the world premiere of The Black SlotThe Laramie Project, and co-directing Eleemosynary with Jeremiah Barr. He produced the sold-out run of Four By Tenn, a festival of one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. He also serves as Artistic Director of The Comrades. Assistant director credits include Goodman and Steppenwolf. Regional credits include Festival 56, Shawnee Summer Playhouse, New Ground Theatre and five seasons at Timber Lake Playhouse.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 24 full-length productions and nine annual Writers’ Series. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning.