Equus is a dangerous play. It's both talky and impassioned, and in clumsy hands can tend toward bombast. But in a sparse, surreal production at New Theatre, Ricky J. Martinez revealed a heretofore unsuspected sensitivity, imbuing the play's labyrinthine lines with complexity and nuance. He was mightily assisted by actors David Hemphill and Samuel Randolph (who receive awards elsewhere in this issue), but you can't thank them for the play's dark, spare aesthetic — the way skeletal horses' heads seemed to float like ghosts through the dark or how even Dr. Dysart's bright office felt haunted. Equus's elements fit together perfectly and composed perhaps Martinez's finest work.

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