In a forbidding rural world, Pony Williams and his wife, the nameless Young Woman, lead a simple and monotonous existence. Pony perhaps loves horses more than he loves his wife; maybe he also loves another woman more than Young Woman. But trapped in the drudgery of her life, what does Young Woman care? Only Horn, the community's miller, expresses an interest in her. But Horn is hated by all, a parasite who lives off the toil of others. Horn knows something, though: He knows that there is a spiritual power and a majesty in language, in knowing the names of things. As Young Woman warms to the idea of a larger world, the little corner she now lives in becomes even smaller. David Harrower's bleak and powerful Knives in Hens explores the expansion of Young Woman's world with a terrible sense of purpose. Upstream Theatre presents Knives in Hens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 7 p.m. Sunday (April 27 through May 6) at 305 South Skinker Boulevard at Fauquier Drive (Clayton; 314-863-4999 or www.upstreamtheater.org). Tickets are $15 to $20.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: April 27. Continues through May 6