Steampunk’d Encore Edition: Doctor Faustus

Back by popular demand, my steampunk series returns to feature Lionface Production‘s Dr. Faustus!

The poster for this amazing show! Features Zach Navarre as Doctor Faustus and Kat Moran as Mephistopheles

That’s right, for Lionface Production’s second show of the season, Christina Hoekstra directed a steampunk version of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. For those unfamiliar with this work, the story revolves around Dr. Faustus, an intelligent doctor who has become bored with the every day sciences and decides to try his hand at necromancy. He is guided by a Good and Bad Angel, each pulling him one way or another. He summons Mephistopheles and Lucifer, who agree to give him 24 years on earth with Mephistopheles as his personal servant. Faustus ultimately wastes this power doing nothing worthwhile and is ultimately damned to hell. In this version, the magic and power that Faustus receives is portrayed through steampunk. Emphasis was put on the various timepieces and clockwork in the show, symbolizing Faustus’s time running out. In this production, I played one of the scholars and the part of Robin the Clown, one of the comedic relief characters in the show.

Our set was simple, yet very cool. We performed the show in a church, the same as when Lionface did Murder in the Cathedral, and the it ended up really working out in our favor. The set was designed and built by the very talented Meghan Johannes, who was able to pull it off on an incredibly small budget and still make it look super professional.

One of the coolest set pieces were these blocks that Johannes made. I wish I would have gotten a better photo of them, because they were seriously boss. You can’t tell by this photo, but behind each block is a hole lined with what looks like a cog, so that props can actually be stored inside the blocks. Each block also had handles, wooden gears painted gold and/or copper, and the copper wiring seen in this photo. One of the blocks was raffled off, but unfortunately I didn’t win one.

Another unique piece was Mephistopheles’ cane (also raffled off, also didn’t win, sad face) which featured a time piece as the hilt. Again, I wish I had a better photo, it was much cooler in person. It was tailored to be the length of the average cane and was able to be swung around without worrying about any pieces falling off (including the copper wiring you see towards the middle).

What could make a steampunk play even cooler than it already is? Throw in an awesome sword fight! To see a video of this check out my Facebook page. I wish I could say that was me doing the sword fight, but alas, it was another awesome ginger. And yes, those are in fact real swords being used, so it took a lot of stage combat choreography and practice to be able to pull it off without causing injury to one another. By the end of it, these two had the fight down so well that when one would make a mistake, the other would immediately adjust to make it safe again without having to stop the fight. Talent, plain and simple.

Myself as Robin and my cohort, Griffin Coldiron, as Dick

One of my most favorite part of the shows was working with this guy, Griffin. One of the best things that can happen in a show is to get paired up with an actor that you can really work off of and that definitely happened for me in this show. So a special shout out to Dick, thanks for rocking out the show with me! “Oh brave, an ape!”

And that’s it for my steampunk series! I may still post steampunk-esque photos now and then, especially since I’ve been getting more into jewelry making as of late, but this particular chapter of Halloween/Faustus steampunk is closed (at least until next year’s Halloween). In coming entries, I’ll be doing some updates on Stand Up Toledo 13, Already Indie, and the other happenings in my life. I hope you enjoyed reading!

“Bene disserer est fines logices. (The end of logic is to dispute well.)” – Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

Related Articles

 

Advertisements

Steampunk’d: The Chest Piece

Hello again and welcome to the last installment of my steampunk Halloween costume series! In previous episodes/entries, I showed you how I made a prosthetic eye piece and several different accessories for the costume and now I will show you how I made a pretty sweet chest piece.

I started with a thick layer of liquid latex in the shape of a sloppy triangle. I left the end of it curved for when I would add the clock piece. If you plan on doing this, you want to do it on a surface that the latex can be peeled off from, so a smooth surface that won’t have any chipped paint pieces or anything like that. I ended up using an old lid to a shoebox, which worked very well, especially if you want an easy cleanup and for your project to be portable while you are making it . After this layer dried, I added another one right on top of it so that the base would be thick and not fall apart when I added pieces to it.

I added a third layer of liquid latex and began to add pieces. As you can see, some of the pieces got another layer of latex over parts of them to make it looks as though pieces of flesh were growing over them. It also gives the impression that there are more gears inside the body, behind the ones that you can see.

Interestingly enough, as the liquid latex dried, the colors from the gears actually caused the latex to change colors. So, naturally, I added another layer over it and some more gears to see if that would cover it up. The liquid latex continued to react to the gears even as I added more latex, so I ended up leaving it the way it was. In the long run, it actually worked in my as it looked as though the gears were having a reaction to my body and therefore leaking pus. Disgusting, yet very effective in what I was going for.

Paint time! Using the same red and black acrylic paint that I used on the eye piece, I painted the latex around the gears and added some red on the gears to make them look as though they are covered in blood. After the paint dried, I used a knife to cut away some of the latex so that you could see more of the gears and I cleaned up the paint on the gears so that they would still reflect off the light. Then, I used paint again to clean up the latex pieces that I had cut away from the prosthetic.

This is actually the piece once I took it after wearing it. I attached the piece to my chest with spirit gum and then added the watch piece separately. It was actually a watch piece that I had gotten from Wal-Mart and added copper paint to it in order to keep with my gold and copper color scheme. I also repainted over some of the gears to make them stand out, as the ones from Hobby Lobby were a bit darker and less shiny then the ones I had purchased at Costume Holiday House. Once I had the pieces applied, I made strips of latex about an inch wide and about 3-4 inches long on the shoebox lid. Once I had two layers dried, I peeled them off and added them to the top and bottom of my piece to give the effect that the skin was cut apart and hanging over. It also helped to make the wound look deeper and more three-dimensional. I made a few more inch by inch pieces of latex to fill in the spots that weren’t covered on the far side of the watch piece. After all of that, I used makeup to color the latex to my skin color and to make it look a bit more bloody and natural. I topped it off with some liquid fake blood, which gave it a glossy look and made the clock look as though blood was dripped on to it as well.

Here’s what the piece looked like when it was applied. This also shows why I added the extra layers last, so that I could attach them to the skin as well as the wound and make everything look seamless. I had no trouble keeping the pieces on once the spirit gum had dried and actually had this piece on for most of the day. Now, I’d also like to point out that the watch piece is a working one and actually lit up with a blue light when you pressed a button (which was located near the number 2 and could be pressed despite the latex). Initially, I had considered using a bigger watch piece and trying to make it seem as though my heart was a clock, but I felt that this looked more realistic than that would have, so I adjusted accordingly. All in all, I was very happy about the way that this piece turned out and it will actually be featured again very soon in Lionface Production’s Dr. Faustus on the character of Mephistopheles. Pictures to come!

Photo courtesy of Laura Fairman Photography

Now we have come to the end of my series and now you know the story behind the creation of my steampunk costume. I may be doing an encore post as well in regards to Dr. Faustus, given that it is being done in a steampunk fashion, so stay tuned for that. In other news, I was voted one of the top five comedians from last years Stand Up Toledo, which means that I will be in it again this year! More information on that as it gets closer as well as some updates on Already Indie and life as an actress. Thanks for reading!

“We can control the future, my boy, just as we wind up the mechanism in a clock. Say to yourself: I will win that race–I will come first–and you wind up the future like clockwork. The world has no choice but to obey! Can the hands of that old clock in the corner decide to stop? Can the spring in your watch decide to wind itself up and run backward? No! They have no choice. And nor has the future, once you have wound it up.” – Philip Pullman, Clockwork