Cast Q&A

We asked our crew three questions about their thoughts, opinions, and findings on Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights. These are their responses.

DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Carter Piggee)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I think Dr. Faustus is a prime example of the consequences of not believing in yourself. At that particular time, doctors and physicians weren’t recognized or considered at all, so when Faustus sold his soul, he would be given the power to control everything and get recognized. However, if he had waited and not sold his soul, he would’ve produced enough knowledge to make electric light.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I feel like I don’t share too much with Faustus, but he and I do share a sense of drive and compassion for people, and even though we don’t want to at times, we do help out.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I feel like it is very challenging with both the dialogue and the language of the script, this play in particular is one of the most challenging for me due to the repetition of the words.

MEPHISTO (Alexis Park)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
To me Faustus can be summed up in one quote: “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”  (Charles Spurgeon)

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I don’t think anyone wants to admit they share characteristics with the devil. In a more subdued way Mephisto and I share determination. Mephisto uses every trick in the book to achieve whatever means she is seeking. I am the same way. If there is an obstacle or problem I have to face, I will do everything in my power to overcome it or die trying. I said it was in a more subdued way, but I never said I wasn’t less dramatic.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
A Dadaist piece to me is an art shaped and molded by the community we are all in charge of our own part in the art and somehow with minimal tweaking a beautiful and unique piece is created. In essence the artist is just as influential as the art we create. I don’t really know how to describe it any other way than that.

MIHA (Steele Severson)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights covers a wide spectrum of ideas and themes due to its absurdity and lack of a definite meaning: sex, power, godhood, knowledge, and even loneliness and fear are covered in our representation of the show.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
Marguerite Ida and Helena Anabel has two different characters both within herself and on the stage. In the opening act she is alone and terrified, which rung true with me as I’m an incoming transfer student. In the latter half of the play she find a strong sense of self-confidence which I have needed to find and embrace over the course of the show.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
This show has given me an insane amount of freedom, and a truly unique opportunity to play a strong, dramatic female role. It has been insane to be able to discover a completely foreign character to what I usually get to present. This, coupled with the director never quite saying “no”, basically makes this unlike any show I have done or quite possibly ever will do again.

VIPER (Jack Richardson)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
Temptation, power and the responsibility that comes with it.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I bite people sometimes.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
The freedom we have as actors was jarring at first, it took time to get used to not being told exactly what to do and start acting on my impulses.

MAN OVER THE SEA (Henry Maddicott)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
To me? This production of Doctor Faustus is about questioning modern-day society’s perception of morality, its views on right and wrong, sin and temptation. What we call sin now, may not be considered so in the future, we have only to look into humanitys brief history upon this earth to see how rapidly cultural norms can change. What better way to communicate this than to create a moving artwork on stage that can communicate to the audience on a physical spiritual level rather than an intellectual one.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
My character’s title is ‘Man From Over The Seas’ andf on a basica level I am exactly that, being a foreign exchange student from across the pond in sunny old England. My character has a certain flairt for showman ship and attempted charm which I would like to say I can relate to, in particularly the ‘attempt’ part of that statement aha. Man From Over The Seas is perhaps a little over persistant with his attempts to woo his love, although that does help him get the girl, maybe I should try his tactics. I was able to choose the music that accompanys him on stage and I think that probably refelcts more about me than i could say myself.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
Wow, where do I begin, I guess in a nutshell it is different….very…very…different. Forget cast read throughs and using emotional memory to get inside the mind of a character. Working on an abstract/ Dadaist piece like this still involves character developemnt but start from a much more physicalised basis. We work on how to physicalise huge themes rather than singular characters so that a character is more of a moving symbol.

DOG (Paul Scott)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
To me Doctor Faustus is a journey through the human psyche. What makes us human? What values are the right ones to hold?

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
Dog holds a wonderful sense of innocence and compassion for others. I try to hold myself to that standard as often as I can.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
An abstract piece such as this requires a significantly larger amount of thought than a realistic piece. So far I have preferred working on Faustus compared to any other piece because it gives me a lot of artistic freedom.

SON (Christian Contreras)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
To me Doctor Faustus is about a person who let one idea run his life and destroy his individuality. He became a slave to the power he felt and when he felt he needed more, he was willing to kill what little humanity he had left in order to grow more powerful.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I do share some of the playfulness of my character. I don’t try to take things too seriously if the situation doesn’t call for it and I find that doing that helps me be more creative at times. In short I just like to go with the flow.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
Working in an abstract show like this has definitely challenged me in that I don’t know what’s right or wrong with what I do on stage. It’s a really weird experience because I’ve had the most freedom in developing my character than in any other show I’ve been in so that’s really exciting!

BOY (Jotae Fraser)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights in my mind is about life, and the choices we make in it. There is a perpetual battle between good and evil that has been deeply rooted since the dawn of time. This battle is driven by power. Thus, the perennial tug of war between light and dark is fundamentally about who has more control, and who will garner the next human soul. In this story, Mephisto has won the soul of Doctor Faustus. It is not difficult to imagine that one would sell his or her soul for something they desire more than anything. The Faustus story to me is about being aware of our flaws, and using our own volition to surmount the subliminal evils of this world.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
In the past, I would say I shared more traits with my first character. I was very much into social media. Then I became more aware and I know longer have that need. The narcissism and desire for certain things ceased to be. In a way, I feel as if I have been cured. Cured of what was once an obsession. I guess I somehow regained that sense of innocence, as with my second character. I would say I went sort of full circle, from innocence to not so innocent, and back to a form of innocence. I have found this to be a much more pleasant path.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
Working on a Dadaist piece is unlike anything that I’ve ever done. It is unique, and in that it breaks down all conventions of the theatre as we’ve come to know it. It frees the body, and it frees the mind. It allows you to express and convey certain ideas through different approaches. As in this show, we will be utilizing the manifold of art forms, which I believe will allow the viewers to genuinely see the big picture. In this case, about how we employ our technological devices in both positive and negative ways.

GIRL (Kennedy Garcia)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
To me Doctor Faustus is not only a tale about the downfall of one man’s world as a direct result of his greed for technology, but it also is a statement on society as a whole. We are living in this culture that constantly needs to consume, and is in a perpetual state of this “blue light” entertainment that is presented by all of the technology today. Faustus is a story that can act as a lesson to us all, that sometimes we need to appreciate what we have and what is before us, instead of feeling this need to gain more that what we have.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
Yes and no. I can relate to the funny, overly flirty version of “girl” during the pre-show and the beginning of the show, however, a lot of the boldness that “girl” carries in the beginning is not something that I have. I feel like she doesn’t really have a filter when it comes to that sort of thing, and I most definitely do.

The “girl” in the middle and end of the show, however, reflects a lot of naivete that has carried throughout my life from the time I was a child. I always wanted things to work out the way they should, and that justice should be had even if the world is cruel, and even now I cannot help but be the same innocent optimist that “girl” has in a lot of points throughout the end of the show.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I have definitely never had this much creative freedom as I have given the opportunity to show in Faustus. It has been a wonderful experience that has delightfully pushed my boundaries farther than I thought they could go. It is really interesting to get to be able to see everyone’s individual interpretation of the show incorporated into little bits and pieces here and there, and I can say with certainty I won’t experience anything like this for a very long time.

CHORUS (Bria McClain)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I think that Dr. Foustus me is about doing whatever the fuck you want to do honestly, being whatever the fuck you want to be. You want to sell your soul to the devil for electricity? sure, why not! You want to breakout into dance? Alrighty! I love that this show gives us actors that freedom also to just do whatever we want (within reason). I like the underlying message that no matter what anyone says, if you want something, you go for it. That’s something that I see with every character.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I think one thing I share with my character is my over sexualization. I tend to sexualize everything without even noticing it and I love that the chorus does sexual things unapologetically. I also find that my character is also playful which is something I think I am as well.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I think its a lot different in many aspects. I find that in a show like this not everything has to have such a literal purpose. Like when the chorus is screaming “Lights!!!!!” after  Faustus, like it’s not something that you would see in a traditional realist play. same goes for the reputation of lines.There is a lot more active thinking that will have to go on for audience members, rather than just watching.

CHORUS (Tara Caple)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
A man who is struggling with his lust for knowledge and power against his love for family and his soul.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
The chorus is not a single entity and therefore holds many traits, from heightened sexuality and lust to an innocent excitable child; but in answer to this question, I have shared and experienced high emotions and bad traits that the chorus go through in the show.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
It’s so unpredictable and malleable, in a sense when you can have a small idea and then blow it up to be a five minute movement piece. There are less limitations in abstract work, which can be scary when you are used to a realistic structured piece, you have to approach this style of performance with an open mind, then great and exciting things can happen.

CHORUS (Sarah McCann )

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I think this show is about many things including sexuality, innocence, and the concepts of of souls. But my favorite thing that is  specific to this production, Is that Dr. Faustus explores what theatre is and what it can be. It takes the traditional and flips it on its head.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
Sometimes our curiosity gets us in trouble!

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I have really enjoyed working on an abstract play. I feel I have gotten to express myself in a new way compared to other productions I’ve been in.  It’s been amazing to work with a director that has been so open to suggestions and allows us to follow our instincts as artists.

CHORUS (Maya Davis)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I wouldn’t say doctor Faustus is our “king” but he is a important figure that we look up to and put us on the right path. When ever Mephisto comes we get sucked into her world but Faustus comes around and pulls us back to “reality”.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
No.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I find no difference, they both work good for me.

CHORUS (Erin Vanderhyde)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I think that this show has many different meanings. The idea of technology is lost to me, however a meaning that I get from the show is that sometimes you think you want something really really bad, but when you get it, it doesn’t meet your actual expectations.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
I feel like I’m awkward and my character is that way also.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I feel like you have to completely open yourself to new ideas, and free your body. It’s actually way easier to be in a “more realistic” show because you really have a clear idea of how the characters is suppose to be portrayed. The difference with this is show there are no boundaries, all ideas are/were considered and probably found there way into the show in one way or another!

CHORUS (Mikhala Armstrong)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
I think it’s about the struggle between good and evil and where the temptation of evil can convince you to go as far as selling your soul.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
We are the women, and I think that there are some relation to myself and my character but I wouldn’t know what traits specifically.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
I think that it is allowing actors to step out of their comfort zone, try an abstract show where they are 50% like what is going on and the other 50% like I don’t know but I’m willing to try. It isn’t predictable, it’s chaotic which makes actors nervous because you’re trying to find some cohesiveness in something that isn’t meant to be in a way and that is a challenge but it brings life to the show and creativity compared to a realistic show.

Also, here are the prompts you can answer on different types of social media. You only have to answer three but if you can answer more that would be amazing. Please take a screenshot or send a link to each one of your answers. (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Flicker, etc.).

CHORUS (Emma Faulkner)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
Dr. Faustus to me represents the constant battle of finding meaning or purpose in ones life. For some it’s knowledge, money, power. For others it’s faith, religion, God. But for Faustus it’s lights, pretty pretty lights. This show teaches us what it’s like to be tempted by the devil, to give into temporary pleasures. It makes us look into ourselves and find what our “lights” are.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
As a member of the chorus we represent more than just one person, character, or emotion. I share many traits with the various characters I play. I think it’s fun to jump from one extreme to another. To be able to transform the world around Faustus and be transformed.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
This show has challenged and excited me in more ways then I thought it would. I think it’s the ability and freedom to come together and create our own unique version of this show. I guarentee this show will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before, even if you’ve already seen another production of Dr Faustus. Being able to create choregraphy, write songs and really work as a unit to make something truly unique. I think the most fun is going from sexy, to childlike, to wild animal all in one show, exploring the different characters of this world.

CHORUS (Sara Dotson)

1. What is Doctor Faustus about, to you?
Doctor Faustus is a classic story of a scholar who gets sick of his textbook knowledge and sells his soul in order to obtain more knowledge and power than he already had. He does this with the belief that hell might not be as bad of a place as every one claims it is. This version is a bit of a spin off where Doctor Faustus sells his soul for electric light and this rendition I believe implies a message to the current and future generation about technology and the way we focus our attention and revolve our life style around it. In a way, we basically sell ourselves to it and towards the technological movement. Putting so much faith in technology like our generation and society does it is basically a religion we have given our souls to that can help us but also be our downfall.

2. Do you share any traits with your character?
Being part of the Chorus, the character I have as part Chorus/part Country Woman like we all have, there is no specific character identity. However, through the statue work and character development we did in the first week that allowed me to differentiate myself as an individual among so many lovely ladies and still be able to be my own character in this Chorus. Its fun this way, it makes it very personal for me to be a character that responds and is directly affected by what goes on onstage.

3. What do you find is different about working on an abstract/Dadaist show such as this one versus a realistic show?
There is so much freedom on stage. Straight plays have so much direct blocking and intention behind every small movement. We still have all of that but since everything we do is abstract and more so metaphorical we can move in a different way and express our intentions in a different way. Its all about real and raw reaction to what we are seeing and less of blocking how the people are supposed to react. Its incredible and such a wonderful experience.

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