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FAUST A New Translation

Translated by Frederick Turner and Zsuzsanna Ozsvath

Directed by Raphael Parry

Dr. Frederick Turner - Translator

"For many decades I have been aware of Goethe’s Faust as a gigantic presence behind so many of the ideas, artistic themes, and emerging perspectives that I was exploring in the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and modernity. At the same time my work with Zsuzsanna Ozsváth translating the great Hungarian and German poets had drawn me toward Goethe, and drew both of us toward the writer who drew so many seeds of culture together and caused them to grow in so many fields of literature, drama, philosophy, psychology, and science. We agreed that Goethe had been poorly served by his English language translators, and felt that our method of intensive collaboration combined with faithful observance of the meter and prosody of the original might do better. After producing a collection of Goethe’s shorter poetry, we decided to tackle the great mountain of Faust, with a special emphasis on its dramatic playability, and an awareness of it as exciting, passionate, and often hilarious theater. We felt also that the ethical, religious and psychosexual issues that the play explores were peculiarly relevant to our own times."

Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath - Translator

"Over many years, my friend and colleague Fred Turner and I have translated into English and published the works of some of the greatest Hungarian poets, such as Janos Arany, Sandor Petofi, Atilla Jozsef, Miklos Radnoti, and others. A while ago, we have decided to attempt translating the lyrical work of one of the world-renown German poet: Johann Wolfgang Goethe's dramatic poem, FAUST."

Most scholars of German literature believe that the year when Goethe undertook this task was as early as 1768. But he progressed faster with his other works, publishing FAUST, A FRAGMENT as late as 1790. First of all, leaving Frankfurt in 1765, he enrolled in Leipzig University. But he fell ill and returned to his parents' house. Healing at home, he became interested in mystical and occult ideas, both of which made a deep impression on his life and work, at least for a while. In 1770, he returned to his studies, this time in Strassburg. He lived there when he fell in love with Friederike Brion, writing to her some of the most beautiful love poems of the time. With the passing of the years, he experienced ever new love affairs; and his work become more and more simple and more sophisticated, mirroring the poet's life experience. Influenced by Shakespeare as well as by the ancient German fairytales and those of the Middle Ages, he became interested in the Faust-Legend.

At the center of the first part of the play is the passionate love affair between Faust and Margarete, and the tragic ending of their relationship. Clearly seeing the grotesque "ideal" of his society: the passionate love of the individual, which is against the "laws of the community" therefore, it must end in death. Recalling the ancient image of love which ends tragically, Gretchen must leave this world as well, and Faust himself only survives because he must survive in order to try to live again and again."

Process of Creating UTD's Production

After UTD's campus moved to remote learning, the future of this project was left in doubt. The creative team and cast searched for the best option to proceed and it was agreed that we should turn this work into a radio play. However, unlike a traditional recording in front of live audience or even with performers in the same room, this recording had to be created in our individual homes. Due to the stay at home order, the company had to quickly adjust to turning closets and bedrooms into makeshift recording studios. Director Raphael Parry rehearsed scenes with the performers via online platforms and microphones were sent to the cast members to record from home. The actor's work now centers primarily on the language of this dramatic poem. All of their audio has been shared with our technical directors and crew, who have compiled and edited the recordings from their homes. We have all learned a lot in this process.

Interview with Director Raphael Parry

At Top: Director Raphael Parry works with T.A. Taylor and Parker Gray on a Scene. Middle: Chris Trevino, Guilherme Almeida, Alex Lorrain-Hill, and Miles Anderson work on Sound Mixing. Bottom: Photos from a Zoom Production meeting.

Guilherme Almeida - Original Compositions, Music Direction, and Piano

"When Raphael Parry contacted me last June about the opportunity of composing the score for Faust, I was both ecstatic and slightly intimidated. Faust is a rich and tragic story, previously complimented with music by Berlioz, Gounod, Mahler, Spohr, and Wagner. The details about the actual project unfolded over the subsequent months, and while we studied the logistics of the execution, I deeply resonated with the prospect of staging a new translation and stage adaptation of Faust. Goethe's Romanticism populated my teenage years, when I first interacted with his poetry - especially Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt and the similar sentiments mirrored in the work of Brazilian Romantic Poet Antônio Gonçalves Dias.

Faust at UTD allowed me to compose a score inspired by the Sturm und Drang musical aesthetics. Throughout the processes of writing and rehearsing the music for Faust I looked for the internal dissonances within the story and explored its moral and epistemological tensions by creating an abstract world for the instrumental soundscape. While working with the ensemble for the magical moments, we explored together techniques of vocal resonance drawn from Feral Voices (Phil Minton) which was fun especially for the monkeys/meerkats vocal work. We also played with free musical improvisation and Conduction techniques (Butch Morris & London Improvisers Orchestra). Originally, the piece was orchestrated for Strings, Reeds, Percussion, and Piano. The songs within the play seek to provide a naturalistic approach to word painting, while supporting the shape and meter of the verse."

Examples of Guilherme Almeida's work creating music for FAUST's songs.

Designer Interviews

While we cannot present FAUST in a theatre, we have kept some of the design team's work. In the following videos, our design team talks about their creative contributions to the project.

Bryan Wofford, Scenic Designer

Michael Robinson, Costume Designer

Safwan Chowdhury, Sound Designer (Student)

Mackenzie Ryann Flynn, Projection Designer (Student)

Scenic rendering and inspiration images provided by Bryan Wofford
Costume renderings and created costumes by Michael Robinson & the Dallas Costume Shoppe

We had two weeks of in person rehearsals before the COVID-19 campus shutdown. Here's some of our rehearsal footage for the Witch's entrance with the monkeys.

Additional Production Team Members: Shelby-Allison Hibbs (Producer), Guilherme Almeida (Original Compositions, Music Direction, and Piano), Alex Lorrain-Hill (Technical Director), Christopher Treviño (Assistant Technical Director), Osinachi Osuagwu (Assistant Director), Ethan Crumrine (Stage Manager), Alexander Parry, Miles Anderson, Mason Bunkelman, and Mackenzie Ryann Flynn (Sound Engineers), Mason Bunkelman, Mackenzie Ryann Flynn (Video Editors), Ethan Crumrine, Mason Bunkelman, Pedro Lopez, Christine Baik, Serena Tran, Connor Kirkpatrick, Cal Thompson, Aidan Smiley, Katherine Kellmeyer, Steven Prince (SoundSquad)

FAUST : A Radio Play

While we cannot present this work at the theatre, we hope that these images will help you visualize Faust's world. There are six parts to this recording, all found on this page. We recommend listening to the play with headphones or earbuds. Due to rules with Actor's Equity Association, you have until May 9th to listen to our recording. Enjoy the show!

Cast: T.A. Taylor (Faust) , Parker Gray* (Mephistopheles), Melinda Kalanzis (Margarete, also known as "Gretchen"), Anisa Hosseini (Marthe), Casey Choi (Witch), Dante Leoni (Michael/Choir of Angels), Dilip Merala (Old Peasant), Grant Widyn (Lord, Protophantasist), Hayden Lopez (Gabriel, Wagner), Leo Weiser (Raphael, Choir of Angels), Taylor Kyes (Lizzy), Troy Murray (Servibilus) - UTD Students also play various ensemble roles as witches, spirits, and monkeys.

EPISODE 1

"I like to see the Old Man now and then, and wouldn't think of being uncivil."
"Here is a juice shall make you drunk, my soul...to toast for the last time the morning's festival."
"Now freed from the ice are rill and runnel, by the lovely life-giving glance of the spring."
"Look!--just a dog. No spook there, nothing queer."
"For such a half-born spawn of hell, the Key of Solomon's the spell."
"Now, Faust, dream on until we meet once more!"

EPISODE 2

"Any old paper scrap is good. As long as you have signed it with a drop of blood."
Witch's Lair
"What does this magic glass contain? What heavenly shape stands before me?"
"Beautiful lady, dare I tender my arm to you as escort and defender?"

EPISODE 3

"I'd give a lot to know, somehow, who was that gentleman just now!"
"Ah, take me in, old chair who, times long gone, with joy and pain embraced a former nation!"
"How did this lovely little box get here?...Such jewels! A lady of the palace might go out with these on holidays."
"On my dresser I found another casket, nicer, and made of solid ebony! And gorgeous things inside, I'm sure much richer than the first ones were."
"Taking the liberty to enter here, I ask forgiveness of the ladies dear."

EPISODE 4

"And may this flowery spell stand for your message from the gods. He loves you! Do you know what that means? He loves you!"
"Perfect man! I love you from my heart!"
"Can't you perceive the new vitality this wandering in the wilds creates in me?"

EPISODE 5

"My peace is fled, my heart weighs sore; it's lost forever, forevermore."
Gretchen at the spinning wheel
"Who knows what gnawing throes have torn my body so?"
"And so the lout is tame. But now, let's go! It's time for us to scuttle."
"Let the tears fall! And let it be. You gave your honor up to scorn: the hardest wound my heart has borne."

EPISODE 6

"See how the redeemed ones turn away from you. The pure would shudder to reach out a hand to you."

"Now another sphere we enter, into magic, into dreaming."

"The way is long, the way is wide, this mad push cannot be denied. The broomsticks scratch, the pitchforks thrust, the baby strangled, mother burst."

"Those apples sweet that so entice you've sought since ancient paradise. It pleases me my garden bears such fruit as men desire for theirs."

"Those are a corpse's eyes--of one who suffered--that still no loving hand has closed."
"[Gretchen] That lovely wretched being, locked up in prison as a criminal, such unthinkable suffering!"
"Who gave you, executioner, such power over me? Why do you come at midnight, sir? Oh let me live, have clemency!"
"She is saved!"

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