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Rachel Tracie, Chair of the Theater Department in College of Music and Arts, Azusa Pacific University, has written a play updating the Christopher Marlowe classic, named Faustus: A New Adaptation.

Prof. Tracie’s concept for this play involved original music to be composed specially for the play, and we eventually settled on a pianist situated in the center of the stage, in view of the audience, with the action and dialog in the play going on between the pianist and the audience.  The pianist for the premiere of this play is Prof. Joel Clifft, for whom it has been a joy to compose.  He plays a “dark presence” making musical comments about the proceedings onstage.  The music is much more tightly integrated into the play than what is sometimes called “incidental music,” and involves both playing the piano from the keys and directly from the strings.

Here’s a short introduction to the play. I didn’t write the music for the trailer, just the play.

In all, there are about 30 minutes of music in the play.  A few excerpts follow.

Here Faustus is terrified by an apparent demon, and begs to see something beautiful.

And here he’s introduced to the Seven Deadly Sins, under the name “Seven Earthly Delights.” You may notice references to a famous fast food commercial for Gluttony and a classic Broadway play for Lechery.

And a few more cues: