Original cast and crew members from last October’s production of “Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights” came together for a little summer fun in New York City, reviving the Production Workshop show at the 3LD Art and Technology Center for 10 performances in July.
The idea to bring a revamped version of Faustus to downtown Manhattan came to fruition through the efforts of Director Abby Colella ’12, composer Deepali Gupta ’12 and actor Ned Riseley ’12, who “had connections in New York theater,” said Jessie Medofer ’13, production manager for the show. Taking inspiration from an earlier PW production of “Hair” that traveled to the Empire State years earlier, the production team began raising funds in early June.
The group used the online platform Kickstarter to raise money, stage manager Jenny Gorelick ’14 said. The initial goal of raising $3,000 was exceeded with the production raising a total of $4,541, according to the production’s Kickstarter page. The production also received help from the Somerled Charitable Foundation and Fractured Atlas, nonprofit organizations dedicated to assisting arts programs, said Alexis Aurigemma ’13, an actress in the show.
The show was the brainchild of Colella, Gupta and Zachary Segel ’13, who composed music for the show. Gupta and Segel took an unfinished Gertrude Stein text and revamped it by writing original electronic music pieces to create a “part concert, part immersive funhouse, part light show, part dance party, part Stein slam,” according to their Kickstarter website.
With the addition of both the new 3LD white studio space as well as some new cast members, the production team reworked the show for its New York setting. The production team wrote a new song and made “significant” changes to two others, Colella said. The set was redesigned to fit their new space, which required changes to the choreography and some of Colella’s staging.
“About 30 percent of the show has changed since October,” Colella said.
“Having a different cast is naturally going to change the feel of things, in rehearsal and onstage,” Alex Ostroff ’14 said.
With these changes, the production achieved considerable success, he said.
“We sold out all our 8 o’clock shows, and the crowd seemed to get into the music and atmosphere pretty quickly,” he said.
Medofer said though Faustus may seem like an unusual project, it was still able to attract a large and diverse audience from the surrounding area, going “beyond the Brown community.”
But Colella said producing this show in a professional venue made her more appreciative of the support system she had at Brown.
“The board, the physical resources and the ragtag mindset were all invaluable in the development and progression of the piece,” she said.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Jessie Medofer ’13 was a member of the class of 2014. The Herald regrets the error.