November 15th, 2013
As the director, I’m often the spokesperson for our ensemble: here on public radio, here in a newspaper story, telling the story of FAUSTUS, and UNDER THE POPPY, and the way we create our immersive events, ways that, we hope, will put our audience at the center of each one.
At rehearsal, I’m generally not in the center: I’m watching from the sides, watching our story flower and grow in the dark.
[Photo courtesy Rick Lieder.]
November 14th, 2013
There is music; and then there is noise. C.S. Lewis’ famous Screwtape Letters dictum states that “[E]ver since Our Father entered Hell … no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has [not] … been occupied by Noise – Noise, that grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile – Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires.”
DIANE CHEKLICH is our sound designer on FAUSTUS, working in harmony, yes, with the majestic pipe organ, working subtly to comment on and goose the narrative, to give you Hell in a moment of sound.
Diane and I last worked together creating the Poppy brothel in the Ginsberg House, a very different kind of kingdom. But Diane’s talents are equal to this echoing landscape as well … Listen.
November 13th, 2013
From the Music Hall to the First Unitarian-Universalist Church, from Eastern Market to an anonymous wall to the steps of the DIA … FAUSTUS is in Detroit.
November 11th, 2013
RICK LIEDER makes the photographs of FAUSTUS. Note, makes, not “takes,” as if the images were there for the plucking, by anyone with a phone and one open eye. This is vision matched to experience and refined by a rigorous process of curation: and that makes for art.
Rick’s made the photographs – and, at times, video – for all of my performance projects: Under the Poppy, “Bottom’s Folly,” and now FAUSTUS. Seeing his work is seeing more than the images, it’s receiving access to the feeling of the performance itself; it’s as close as you can be without being there, and a way to relive all that you’ve seen if you were. Worth a thousand words? Oh hell yes, and more.
[Photo of LAURA BAILEY by Rick Lieder.]
November 9th, 2013
She is the sin most likely to be misunderstood, and underestimated. She is the breath of silence, she is the dust of every dream set aside for later … later, when there’s more time, or more money, or different conditions than the ones in which we labor. She knows there is no later, there is only Now, stretching into infinity, all the way into hell. Her glance slides from Lust to the others, to you, without stopping, without rest. All she longs for is the final rest of absolute nothingness, the silence where Nothing breathes.
Of all the Sins she is the most insidious, the most dangerous. She’s Sloth, and we all know her; and she knows us.
[Photos of VANESSA ELLEN HENTSCHEL and JONATHAN WEST by Rick Lieder.]
November 8th, 2013
REV. ROGER MOHR is no stranger to the myths of sin and the sins of myth, the Deadly ones that seize a soul and shake it. He also knows that the human mind has a choice in how it perceives itself, the world, and any sin it may encounter in either.
On 11/17, at the 11AM service at 1st UU, Rev. Mohr will present the message “Faustus: Choice, Choices, and Choosing.” You may choose to be present, whether or not the FAUSTUS event itself appeals, but if you have seen or plan to see the show, this message, coming between the two weekends, makes an ideal philosophical accompaniment.