Peter Cirino, our director, was kind enough to agree to a quick interview with me during one of our rehearsals. I knew this had been his brainchild but I definitely learned some things that really offer some insight into the show.
Maya: This show is little known, why did you decide to choose Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights?
Peter: I’ve been in love with Gertrude Stein and that time frame of artists since I was in college. When I first read this I thought this is one of those shows that in the back of my head I always wanted to produce and somehow bring to life. Given the circumstances that was presented to me here at State this was a perfect time to do this.
Maya: The first time you read the script, was there anything you immediately envisioned?
Peter: You know I kept seeing this kind of duality of the good and the bad for all the kind of things I felt that electricity kind of represented which was technology and how it has brought together humanity in a way that has never been done before but it’s also taken away humanity at every angle. It’s one of those double edged swords that we can’t seem to get away from.
Maya: Traditional shows always tell you to put away your phones. Not this show. How does social media come into this show?
Peter: Again, I think that social media—to me—has done good and bad. It’s connected people in ways that have never been able to connect before. It’s widened the experiential thing that you can do with a bunch of people but it’s also taken away that kind of physical humanity, that contact, that has been applied before. I really want the audience to do two things when they walk out of here. One, that they can create, that they can come do this metacreation with us and then the second, that hopefully they can realize that they can’t be obsessed and that the first thing they reach for in the morning isn’t their phone.
Maya: At times it seems as if movement is a completely different entity. How does movement play into the show?
Peter: I think that movement is the basis of how you should create a show, any show. Whether it’s a dance show or a play or a film, I think that movement is the thing that we all forget you know? Imagine that our bodies are these lumbering giants that are following these brilliant brains but I think it’s the opposite. I think that these dynamic, kinetic creatures that are our bodies can help our brains fathom the complexities of psychological and emotional dramas.
Maya: This show is very audience participation heavy. Audience members are asked to take videos, pictures, interact. How would it differ if there were no audience participation?
Peter: It would differ because I wouldn’t do it (laughs) not this specific show. I think it would still hopefully offer the audience a perspective into a life and a place that was very different. That art in in of itself was anywhere and everywhere and anybody could create it and that’s one of the strong things we hope is coming through.
Maya: Do you know a real life Faustus?
Peter: Yeah, I think I do a lot of them y’know. I was in Hollywood a long time (laughing) so I’d say yes. So many of my actor friends. And you know [when you’re in Hollywood] you have to make that choice to sell your soul or not so yes.