Liminal’s Faust (Faust) was an eerie performance installation for the Halloween season based on the epic tragedy of Faust. Specifically, Faust (Faust) was an open-ended continuous installation made from an ever-changing flow of surreal actions. Strange phenomena appeared and receded in multiple parts of the performance space and the order and arrangement of the performance was not predetermined. Rather, it emerged based on simple rules governing the actions of the performers. Fragments of the Faust story were presented by actors, vocalists and live musicians who interacted with each other in four rooms symbolizing the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Audiences were encouraged to explore the ever-changing environment, view the performance from different locations, and come and go as they pleased during nightly installation hours. 

Faust(Faust) was performed in September-October 2003 by Liminal. The project concept, sound design and music direction were provided by John Berendzen. Movement direction and visual design were provided by Bryan Markovitz. Set construction was provided by Georgia Luce and Jeff Marchant. Performers included John Berendzen, Frank Marroquin, Ammon Morris, Linda Miles, Bryan Markovitz, Leslie Goodwin, Georgia Luce and Jeff Marchant.

Link to the News Release

Link to the poster

Link to the program

Press
Portland Mercury, October 16, 2003
The Oregonian, October 10, 2003
Willamette Week, October 8, 2003

Rules of the Performance

General Rules

1. The performance starts at 8:45, 15 minutes before the door opens.

2. The performance ends at 11 pm. Frank will circumscribe the space with bells at the beginning and the end of the performance.

3. Anyone may create music or sound with props—glasses, books, etc.

4. If a new rule is created, it may be taught to others and incorporated.

Actor Rules

1. The actors initiate full scenes. If they intend to perform a full scene, they must light a practical and wait for music to begin. The scene will start when the music cues them. After the scene has ended, the practical must be turned off.

2. The full scene of each room must happen at least two times nightly but no more than three.

3. Actors must change parts each time a room’s scene is played.

4. If Linda starts repeating a gesture in a room, then all actors must perform the scene that the gesture is from in whatever room Linda is in. The actors do not need to cue musicians unless they want to.

5. When given a prop from one of the rooms, you must go to that room and perform one or more of the gestures either alone or in combination with other actors.

6. You may leave a room you are directed to, but if you do, you must stay in that room until you are directed to another location.

7. If both musicians start to play a repeated phrase for a long time, actors must repeat one gesture related to the music no matter where you are in the room. After a while, you may use add-a-gesture or canons to create variety.

8. Actors may “teach” gestures to singers or musicians.

9. Everyone may “leave” the performance one time per night. They may not leave for more than ten minutes. Actors cannot leave if another actor is gone. If an actor is gone and a scene is initiated, the scene must be performed without the missing actor.

10. Follow speed cues given by the musicians. Use the music to slow down or speed up.

Singer Rules

1. Bryan resets Air and Fire after a scene is performed.

2. Ammon resets Earth and Water after a scene is performed.

3. Linda progressively creates chaos in rooms throughout the night.

4. Bryan and Ammon restore disorder made by Linda.

5. Any singer can direct an actor to a room by giving them a prop for that room.

6. Linda can cue actors to perform a scene in the wrong room by presenting one of a scene’s gestures in a room of her choice until the actors see her and join her.

7. Singers may “steal” gestures from actors when they see them.

8. Linda may subtly mock things over the microphone.

9. Ammon may wash actors’ hands.

10. Singers must teach one song phrase to an actor.