Friday, July 8, 2011

Wearing a Mask In The Audience

Alchemist’s FAUST opened a new website

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Alchemist Theatre has consistently held solidly entertaining Halloween shows for a number of years now. The past three years have featured dark tales from the late 19th century—Dracula, Jack The Ripper, Herman Mudgett. All shows have been memorable and quite commercially successful. (Two of the three previous shows completely sold-out their entire runs.)

This coming fall, the Alchemist moves up a few years to deliver a horror story set in 1923, The Mephisto Theatre Company is in town with an open run of its production of Faust. There’s a rather large cast there’s intrigue and tension and all of the sorts of things that usually accompany psychological horror, no doubt . . . another play on the ancient legend, this one penned by Alchemist’s Aaron Kopec.

The reall ambitious end of the production is the fact that it’s written for multiple “stages” within the building, which houses the Alchemist. Kopec is writing a script with characters that move in and out of scenes on multiple levels all over the building. This is a lot more complicated than writing a single script, as there are likely a number of scenes that exist concurrently . . . it’s murder on an author to work on that kind of story and keep it novel and fresh throughout. As difficult as it is to work on that kind of story for a playwright, it can be a lot of fun for the audience-every single member of which gets a distinctly different experience.

Each member of the audience is free to move in and around the space as they like—kind of a high-end high-concept haunted house version of horror theatre . . . with the interaction between actors and audience limited to those characters serving drinks at the bar, as I understand it. The audience is encouraged to wear black. (It’s black tie optional.) All of the audience will be wearing black domino masks. (This should be fun for the actors—I once performed for a roomful of people wearing surgical masks—kind of adds something to the performer’s experience…) 

For more information, visit the show’s website.

You're going to want to spend some time hanging out with the raven on the main page (it's kinda cute) before clicking on the “EXPERIENCE FAUST’” text. The site seems to answer most questions one would have about what should be a really novel show.

Faust: An Evening at the Mephisto Theatre runs September 29th through October 15th at the Alchemst Theatre. Tickets are on sale now and available at the Alchemist’s Website.

 

 

 

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