Directed by David Herskovits and translated from Goethe's masterpiece by Douglas Langworthy, Faust, Parts I & II is billed as a "theatrical extravaganza that tackles the loftiest poetic questions: desire, knowledge, and right and wrong — with passion, raunchiness, and ridiculousness."
Audiences may choose to see Faust, Parts I & II in a day/night marathon, or on two different evenings. The limited engagement plays to May 20. The official opening is April 30.
OBIE Award winner David Greenspan and Target Margin favorite Will Badgett will play literary history's oddest couple, Mephisto and Faust. OBIE Award winner Ty Jones (The Blacks) will take the role of Young Faust. The cast also includes Aysan Çelik, Daphne Gaines, George Hannah, Lian-Marie Holmes, E. C. Kelly, Wayne Alon Scott and Eunice Wong.
Faust was a project that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) tackled over many years. A first draft (known as Urfaust, circa 1775) was published more than 100 years later (in 1887) and is sometimes the template for stage productions. The longer, more unwieldy and "finished version" known as Parts I and II also exist. Part I was published in 1808, and Part II in 1832, after his death.
The expansive work changes style and tone throughout. Boasting prose and poetry, symbolism and satire, comedy and tragedy, it is considered one of the great theatrical challenges. The TMT production features original music by Katie Down, with additional music by John King. Set design is by Carol Bailey, lighting design is by Lenore Doxsee, costume design is by Kaye Voyce and sound design is by John Collins.
Douglas Langworthy is currently dramaturg and director of play development for McCarter Theatre. His translations from the German include Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechuan, Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, Hans Henny Jahnn's Medea, Heiner Müller's Quartet and Hamletmachine and Heinrich von Kleist's The Prince of Homburg, Amphitryon (National Theatre Translation Fund Award) and Penthesilea. He also co-wrote the libretto for The Sandman, an opera based on an E.T.A. Hoffmann story with music by Thomas Cabaniss, directed by David Herskovits.
OBIE Award winning Target Margin Theater was founded in 1991 by artistic director David Herskovits.
The 2005-06 season is the 15th anniversary season for the company. The theatre was founded on the principle that "works of art return us to real truths more powerfully by their divergence from a strict illustration of reality." Through classic as well as contemporary texts, TMT seeks "continuously to expand the conception of what can take place in a theatre."
For more information, visit www.targetmargin.org.
Herskovits recently directed Nick Brooke's opera Tone Test for the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival, and The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc by Charles Péguy at HERE. For two years he worked on People Are Wrong! a new rock-concert/anti-musical by Julia Greenberg and Robin Goldwasser, with performances at PS122, Mass MoCA, and the 2004 Bonn Biennale. The Target Margin Theater/Vineyard Theatre production of People Are Wrong! premiered in October 2004. With Target Margin other recent productions include a new opera based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Sandman, The Marriage of Figaro, Dido, Queen of Carthage by Christopher Marlowe, and the premieres of Rinne Groff's The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem and Tulpa by Todd Alcott. His 1998 production of Mamba's Daughters by Dorothy and DuBose Heyward won an OBIE for the company, and was presented at the 1999 Spoleto Festival USA. Herskovits directed Chikamatsu's Love Suicides at Amijima at the Institut Internationale de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France, and The Hairy Ape at The Cleveland Public Theater.
David Greenspan (Mephisto) appeared in previous installments of Faust for Target Margin. In New York, he acted in The Wax (Playwrights Horizons), High Life, Second-hand Smoke (Primary Stages), Saved or Destroyed, Small Craft Warnings, Lipstick Traces (Foundry), Benita Canova and The Boys in the Band (OBIE). He directed and/or acted in his own plays Jack, The Home Show Pieces, 2 Samuel 11, Etc., Dead Mother (the Public), She Stoops to Comedy (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE) and The Myopia (Foundry). Regionally, he appeared in The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue (Hartford Stage).
Will Badgett (Faust), a TMT member for many years, appeared in Titus Andronicus (Aaron), Mother Courage (Cook), the OBIE Award-winning Mamba's Daughters (Gilly Bluton) and many other productions. Also a member of The Talking Band, this past October he appeared in their Party Time (Frankie) at the Naploi Scena Internazionale, Naples, Italy. More recently Will worked at the Guthrie Theater in The Peoples Temple, an exploration of the 1978 Guyana tragedy. He's an MFA grad of New York University's theatre program.
Now in its 38th season, CSC is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre "committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience."
For membership information, call the theatre's box office at (212) 677-4210, ext. 11, visit the theatre in person at 136 East 13th Street, or visit www.classicstage.org.