For Immediate Release
Media Contact - Bryan Markovitz, 503 890 2993,

Portland, Ore. - From October 2 to November 1, 2003 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Liminal Performance Group will present Faust (Faust), an eerie new performance installation for the Halloween season based on the epic tragedy of Dr. Faustus, the archetypal character who sells his soul to the devil in search of knowledge. In Liminal’s new work, the story of Faust is used as a springboard to create a constantly changing environmental performance of mystical science and alchemic ritual. Audiences may witness the strange world of Faust(Faust) each night starting at 9 pm and ending late.

Faust (Faust) is an open-ended continuous installation presented by the Liminal ensemble. Unlike a traditional theatre performance, Faust(Faust) does not have a linear beginning and end. Instead, the performance is made from an ever-changing flow of surreal actions that are different every night.

“This is Liminal’s version of the classic haunted house,” says Liminal Director Bryan Markovitz. “It is replete with unknown and unearthly phenomena that appear and recede in the multiple rooms of the performance space. The situations that audiences witness are real, not staged, and they happen based on arcane rules governing the world of the event.”

The experience is like walking through a macabre gallery of specters driven by magical forces. Liminal’s 4,000 square foot performance space is divided into four rooms where fragments of the Faust story are presented by a small ensemble of actors, vocalists and live musicians who interact with each other throughout the different rooms. Audiences are free to explore the ever-changing environment, view the performers from different locations, and come and go as they please during nightly installation hours.

“This project is particularly challenging because we are creating many small discrete elements that are mixed together in the final performance,” explains Liminal Sound Director John Berendzen. “We are not interested in establishing a predetermined order of events or manipulating a line of dramatic action. Instead, we are applying simple rules of engagement to generate outcomes that are compelling because they are spontaneous.”

Faust (Faust) explores the limits of human endeavor through situations based on scenes from original Faust play texts by Marlowe and Goethe. In Faust, we see a person who comes to the end of learning through the humanities and who attempts to know the universe directly through the occult. To explore Faust’s dilemma, Liminal establishes a structure that allows the ensemble to present the story as a perpetual event. When the doors at Liminal Space open every night, Faust’s search continues. Resolution is never achieved.

Various elements and signifiers of the Faust story become the tools of the ritual experiment and react when combined in different ways. Colors react to frequencies; Performers react to planetary rotations; Sounds react to chemicals. The result is a performance that has no known outcomes. It is in the hands of forces beyond Liminal’s control.

Faust (Faust)
October 2-November 1, 2003, 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Visitors may come and go as they please during hours of operation
Liminal Space, 403 NW Fifth between Flanders and Glisan
Reservations: 503 890 2993,
Tickets: $6 Thursdays, $8 Fridays and Saturdays

Liminal (1997-) is a Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal has produced eleven original performances in six years and received five Drammy awards in 2003 for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins and Three Plays Five Lives. Liminal recently produced Samuel Beckett’s play, Krapp’s Last Tape.

The ensemble operates its own performance and workspace in downtown Portland that is also used by a variety of Portland artists and performing groups. For more information, visit Liminal on the Web at