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.
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
- Steampunk’d: The Chest Piece (okoesters.wordpress.com)
- Steampunk’d: The Accessories (okoesters.wordpress.com)
- Steampunk’d: The Eyepiece (okoesters.wordpress.com)