“The hell- bent Dr. Faustus embraces Lucifer to gain knowledge, power, and a personal demon at the price of his soul. Marlowe’s work with a Punk tint examines the subversive nature of man against his own salvation,” reads the inviting flyer.
Kenneth Wesley Knight, who goes by Ken, is the director of Doctor Faustus, a play by Christopher Marlowe. “Playwright, poet; Christopher Marlowe was at the forefront of the 16th century dramatic renaissance. His work influenced William Shakespeare and generations of to follow,” as described on biography.com. Marlowe’s notable work includes The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
The qualitative cast of six includes: Bad Angel, Good Angel, Valdez, Cornelius, Faustus, and Mephistopheles. The good angel is a representation of Faustus’s urge to repent, while on the other hand, the bad angel, is his desire to continue his sinning ways. The Angels are merely thoughts Faustus has with himself; which keep his soul split.
In the original text written by Marlowe, Mephistopheles is played by a male. Knight went with another direction, by introducing the character as a she. Mephistopheles’s loyalty lies with Lucifer.
While dealing with the push and pull of selling his soul to the devil, Faustus makes two friends, Valdez and Cornelius who teach him the art of black magic. In the end, the bad angel, wins, and Faustus ends up selling his soul to Lucifer.
Knight answered self-assured when asked how he thought of the modern take on Doctor Faustus. “The Punk idea came from previous shows I’ve done. When I do a piece of theater, I like to start with a piece of music, an era that would work well, and given the anarchistic nature of the show, what’s the genre that shakes things up and causes problems. “Marlowe; he liked to shake things up and cause problems.” When asked what he would like his audience to gain from attending his shows, he boldly states, “to have a good time. To be entertained.”
“As a textual nerd, it’s my mission to spread the good gospel of Shakespeare and Marlowe,” gleefully expresses Knight. Knight is no stranger to complex texts, having completed a masters program in English Literature. “The instant approval, the laughter, started at the age of 15 [love for theater].” When asked how he managed to materialize this play, Knight starts from the beginning, “I read the script a couple of years ago, and had been wanting to do it for about three years. I met Brando Kutz, [Co-Artistic Director], about two and a half years ago and knew he would be perfect for Faustus.” When Knight isn’t reading up on English Renaissance, he’s working on his writing and acting, as a SAG- AFTRA member.