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Aurora play takes on teen violence, education and realizing one's potential

Aurora Theatre presents the play “Tamer of Horses”

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Pictured from left to right are Anthony P. Rodriguez and Dane Troy in a scene from the Aurora Theatre’s production of “Tamer of Horses.” (Special Photo: Chris Bartleski)

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Pictured from left to right are Anthony P. Rodriguez and Dane Troy in a scene from the Aurora Theatre’s production of “Tamer of Horses.” (Special Photo: Chris Bartleski)

In Aurora Theatre’s latest production, audiences might want to keep in mind that things aren’t always the way they seem.

“Even people you don’t think are able to be reached can be reached,” said Dane Troy, the 22-year-old actor who plays Hector St. Vincent in William Mastrosimone’s “Tamer of the Horses.”

Hector is a troubled teenage runaway and rapper who takes up residence in an old barn owned by former teacher Ty Fletcher and his wife Georgiane, played by Anthony Rodriguez and Marie Sager, respectively. Throughout the play, Ty attempts to reach, inspire and educate Hector through an examination of Homer’s “The Iliad.”

Troy, one of the 2014 Aurora Apprentice Company members, described his character as “hot-tempered, (a) very angry, dark individual (who) has a lot of scars from fighting.” He not only has visible scars but invisible ones as well.

“He has a very tough exterior but has a softer core,” Troy said, adding the play is “an unseemingly heart-warming story with a character that hopefully (audiences) will identify.”

“I think (audiences) are going to really see someone really struggling to give seomeone a second chance,” said Rodriguez, who is the theater’s producing artistic director. “When our Education Director, Jaclyn Hofmann, had our 2012-2013 Apprentice Company read this play as an acting exercise — I was moved. I not only knew that we had to produce it, I needed to personally be involved in the production. Anyone who has even needed or been granted a second chance in life should not miss this amazing play.”

The play is staged on the theater’s 86-seat Peach State Federal Credit Union Studio.

“There’s a lot of tender moments and a lot of uncomfortable moments and I think those would be lost on a larger stage,” Troy said. “The way they’ve set it up, the audience almost feels a part of the scene. It’s pretty intimate.”

The play is part of the Aurora Theatre’s 2013-14 Harvel Lab Series and will be presented at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through March. The theater is at 128 E. Pike St. in Lawrenceville, and tickets are $15. For more information, call 678-226-6222 or visit www.auroratheatre.com.