Reinhardt University’s Theatre Department performed its annual Halloween production in the Donor Plaza Halloween Night. This year’s performance was Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus.”
Originally written in the late 1590’s by playwright Christopher Marlowe, “Doctor Faustus” is a production seeped in controversial elements. Telling the story of a doctor willing to make a pact with the devil and his demons in exchange for power and knowledge, “Doctor Faustus” explores a realm that few before dared to explore, that of demonic themes and alternate views of the spiritual realm.
Adapted by the Dean of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Wayne Glowka, and directed by student Sarah Williams in her directorial debut, “Doctor Faustus” was brought to life wonderfully in the outdoor venue. The cast consisted of 10 students, all of whom took on multiple rolls with the exception of Joshua Baldwin, the titular doctor, and Nichols Cothran, Mephistopheles- the demon from whom Faustus gains answers and power. All played their parts excellently. The costume choices were simple and provided a unique visual experience. For example, most characters wore a white shirt with their name written in red on the front and dark jeans. This provided a fitting and distinct color scheme of red, black and white through the performance.
While every cast member felt a perfect fit for their part, the night’s standout performance was Cothran as Mephistopheles. Cothran was simultaneously humorous and frightening with his depiction of the demon, seeming sincere when warning Faustus of the deal he was making, but at the same time not exactly telling him not to go through with it. He was also fittingly violent when Faustus later tried to go against their agreement. These touches gave the character a fitting depth and helped provide one of the most enjoyable performances of the night.
That being said, it must be clearly stated that every performer did an excellent job and hopefully shall continue to do so both at Reinhardt and beyond. Special mention must be given to Cameron Smith’s portrayal of Lucifer. The fallen angel only appears in person briefly during the play, but Smith’s portrayal made the frightening force of evil an entertaining addition to a wonderful performance.
If there are any negative remarks to be made of this production, they are all outside the hands of those involved. Passing cars honked their horns during the show, and occasionally a character’s voice would be somewhat difficult to hear, but both of these can be attributed to unavoidable incidents due to the play’s outdoor location.
Director Williams had a fantastic directorial debut, and hopefully, she gets many more opportunities to direct in the future. For those who were unable to attend this performance, it is recommended to attempt seeing Reinhardt’s production of Sweeney Todd, opening Nov. 18.
Review By: Jacob Howard. Photo via Reinhardt Univeristy Theater Program on Facebook