Show Summary/Synopsis

Peter asked me to do a 12 scene summary/synopsis for the artists for our show. While I did not do a synopsis for pages 20-25, I have the rest of the show summarized. I hope this will help those who are confused by the language Stein uses within this show. Page numbers are based off of the revised script Peter released which you can find here: link.

1. “Preshow”

The pre show features the actors playing the parts of boy and girl (not to be confused with boy and dog). In this scene they are flirty, playful, and confident. They will be trying to get audience members to interact and use social media on their phones during the show. They are very beautiful people and some of the dialogue will be sexual. Flirty interactions such as the girl dropping herself into someone’s lap and saying, “Hey baby, why don’t you take a selfie with me?” are entirely possible.

2. “The First Interaction between Doctor Faustus and Mephisto”

(Page 1 and 2, revised script) In this opening scene the audience sees Doctor Faustus and Mephisto’s first interaction together. Doctor Faustus had sold his soul to the devil to learn how to make electric lights. He accuses Mephisto of lying and tempting him. Mephisto replies by saying that while the devil deceives, he never lies. Doctor Faustus rejects Mephisto, saying he doesn’t care that he sold his soul because he doesn’t believe that he has one anyway. The lights begin to burn brightly.

3. “The Dog and Boy”

(Pages 2-6, revised script) In this part of the script we meet the dog and boy. The dog for the most part only says, “thank you.” Doctor Faustus tries to get rid of them both saying, “Let me alone… Dog and boy let me alone oh let me alone.” They do not leave and instead tell Doctor Faustus about Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel (MIHA). They argue over her name, Doctor Faustus saying that he knows her name is not Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel because he knows everything (“I know no no no no no nobody can know what I know I know her name is not Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel”).

4. “Meeting Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel (MIHA)”

(Pages 6-9, revised script) In the scene with Dog and Boy we get the following description about MIHA: “yes her name is not Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel and she is not ready yet to sing about daylight and night light, moonlight and starlight electric light and twilight she is not she is not but she will be.” When we actually first meet her MIHA is wandering around the woods talking to no one in particular. After she gets stung by a viper a country woman tells her to find a doctor to cure her. So she sets out to find Doctor Faustus so he can help cure her.

5. “Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel (MIHA) meets Doctor Faustus”

(Pages 10-13, revised script) MIHA shows up at Doctor Faustus’s house and asks him if he can cure her. Doctor Faustus tells MIHA (and the dog and boy) that he sold his soul and to leave him alone because he doesn’t care if she dies (“all who can die and go to heaven or hell go away oh go away go away leave me alone”). The boy asks what difference does it make if Doctor Faustus cures MIHA or not, he (Doctor Faustus) is still going to hell. Doctor Faustus is still oppositional and says that while he can cure her he will not.

6. “The Death of Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel (MIHA)”

(Pages 13-14, revised script) a continuation of section number five, above, after Doctor Faustus still refuses to cure her MIHA begins to die. The stage directions describe this as follows: “There is silence the lights flicker and flicker, and Marguerite Ida and Helena Annabel gets weaker and weaker, and the poison [gets] stronger and stronger.” At the last moment Doctor Faustus saves MIHA’s life stating, “You are not dead. Enough said Enough said. You are not dead.”

7. “The village gossip”

(Pages 14-16, revised script) The townsfolk of the nearby village gossip with each other about how Doctor Faustus saves MIHA from the viper sting/bite. It’s the talk of the town, a “miracle.” They question the people/events surrounding what happened. Asking things such as, “Would a viper have stung her if she had only had one name,” “How do you know how do you know that a viper did sting her,” and “Doctor Faustus sold his soul….did she sell her soul [too].” They recount what happened in a flashback-esque scenario with MIHA and the viper.

8. “MIHA’s beauty recounted”

(Pages 17-18, revised script) This scene is a continuation of the townsfolk’s gossip. They are still recounting what happened with MIHA. The townspeople describe the setting of this portion of the scene as, “…the lights are bright like the sunset and she [MIHA] sat with her back to the sun…” She’s still pure (“See how the viper there, Cannot hurt her. Nothing can touch her…”) and beautiful in everything she does, lit up with “A very grand ballet of lights.” It brings many suitors by land, sea, and air.

9. “Man from Over the Sea”

(Pages 18-19, revised script) We meet the Man from over the sea for the first time. He a suave and handsome man who comes for MIHA (his “pretty pretty pretty dear”). When she first meets him she is a little bit flustered and unbelieving that such a handsome man would come for her. He tries to convince her to leave her life behind (“…throw away the viper throw away the sun throw away the lights until there are none…”) and leave with him but she declines/faints before a decision can be made.

10. “Mephisto convinces Doctor Faustus to kill”

(Pages 26-27, revised script) Doctor Faustus tells Mephisto that he feels like he sold his soul for no reason. He sold his soul for the electric lights but no one cares/is interested in the lights. He says that if he should go to Hell it should be with a bang (“I would rather go to hell be I with all my might and then go to hell oh yes alright”). They get into an argument with each other about who deceived who. In the end Doctor Faustus, who is still set on going to Hell, asks Mephisto how to get there. Mephisto tells Doctor Faustus that he should, “kill anything.”

11. “The murder of Dog and Boy”

(Pages 27-28, revised script) Faustus resolves to go to Hell by getting the viper to kill the boy and the dog for him. Before they die, Faustus tells them of their impending death and they both thank him before being struck down by the viper (“Thank you, the light is so bright there is no moon tonight I cannot bay at the moon the viper will kill me. Thank you”). After the deed is done, Mephisto condemns him to Hell but tells Doctor Faustus to take MIHA with him.

12. “The last pages”

(Pages 28-29 , revised script) A lot happens in the last two pages of the script. Doctor Faustus demands that MIHA goes to Hell with him (“you know I can go to Hell and I can take someone too and that someone will be you”). Not wanting to go to Hell, she sinks back (faints) into the safe arms of the Man from over the sea. Afterwards, Mephisto goes up to Doctor Faustus and tells him that he is going to Hell. Doctor Faustus sinks into darkness and the boy and girl begins to sing. The both of them symbolizing our future generations.