‘Dr. Faustus’ proves wildly entertaining

Quoc Huy Ngo, Staff Writer

Struggling to save your mental stability from an existential crisis? Stressed out by the boredom of life? The Schuster Theatre’s production of “Dr. Faustus” could provoke an unexpected solution. 

“The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus” or “Dr. Faustus,” is a classic Elizabethan tragedy that centers around the story of Johann Georg Faust, a German scholar who lived from the late fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century. Faust summoned Mephistopheles, a demon that promised him infinite knowledge and endless pleasures.  

The story of Faust has been the basis of many adaptations, including a version by famous American playwright Don Nigro, who put a captivating twist on the story. In Nigro’s version, the demon appeared in the form of a youthful and mesmerizing woman, transforming the legend of Faustus into an uncanny and haunting love story. The play not only examines the causal relationship between sin and redemption but shifts its focus to the role of other characters while delivering a strong message about gender dynamics. 

Dr. Faustus, played by Ben Cinnamond, a global exchange student majoring in drama and English, is the highlight of the show. As a fresh face at the Schuster Theatre, Cinnamond proved his potential in the most compelling way. He embodied a multi-faced character through a perfect balance of body movement, accent and facial expression. He also manifested the vulnerable moments of Faustus well, such as the moment he seeks redemption at the end of the play. 

Elizabeth Kellogg as Mephistopheles was another refreshing breeze for the show. What could be more provocative than a demon disguised in the form of a young, charming yet satirical woman? Thanks to Kellogg, Mephistopheles’ Sardonic sense of humor was well-delivered and flowed easily through the play. Kellogg effortlessly captivated the audience as her character mesmerized Faustus. 

Anthony Nunez, a familiar face at the Schuster Theatre, was back on the stage and continued to shine in the spotlight in his fourth role. He emulated the role of Wagner, who not only served as the close assistant of Dr. Faustus but also contributed to a major part of the storyline. Nunez successfully carried out the gradual alteration of Wagner’s mind from a timidly submissive man to an explosive character as the play progressed. 

Noémie Vandenborre from France plays the Helen of Troy, a 12-year-old light-fingered kid who brings laughs to the stage through childish lines and eccentric gestures. As the play progresses, she has more chances to deliver a fragile side of Helen as a naive girl who just gets to know what love is. Noémie Vandenborre did an incredible job of bringing a famous female figure to the stage in an unexpected way despite the fact that this is her first real” theatre experience, 

“Doctor Faustus” directed by Gannon alumna Molly Cooke was yet another quality show from Gannon’s Schuster Theatre and was one of my favorite parts of homecoming weekend.