'The Devil is hot!' -- Dr. Faustus comes to the Backdoor Playhouse Nov. 9-16

The Tennessee Tech University Backdoor Playhouse takes on the devil for its fall production with "The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe, a play that follows the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil in order to gain more knowledge, control and power.

"The devil is hot right now," said Mark Creter, director of the Backdoor Playhouse and director of the upcoming production. "At the movies, there is 'The Exorcist' and 'Bedazzled' and 'Lost Souls.' And 'Dr. Faustus' is in this genre of a dark, dirty and disturbing look at man."

The play, which features the Seven Deadly Sins as modern dancers, opens Thursday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. Other shows are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, all being performed at 8 p.m.; a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.; and special late showings on Monday and Thursday, Nov. 13 and 16, at 10 p.m.

The cast includes nearly 30 students, making it one of the larger productions the Backdoor Playhouse has performed.

"I think there is a great representation of the talented students we have here at Tennessee Tech," Creter said.

Creter's wife, Jennifer Dotson-Creter, joins him as the dance choreographer for "Dr. Faustus," creating dances and movements that bring the Seven Deadly Sins Ð pride, greed, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth and lechery Ð to life in new and interesting ways.

"When we were discussing how to portray wrath, we decided to make it wrath towards oneself. So the dancer who portrays wrath will actually be cutting herself during the dancing, and it will be graphic," Creter said.

As for lechery, the husband-wife team decided to go with an insidious act Ð the two dancers portraying this deadly sin are a male teacher who molests his young male student.

"The play has a real modern context and we have put it into a modern setting. And I felt like that if I was going to direct a play about a man who sells his soul to the devil, I've got to make it fairly evil," Creter explained.

"This is the story of a man who has it all and gives it up for the illusion of power, control and knowledge, and in the end, this destroys him. I think this play brings up many interesting questions that speak to our time."

This play is not recommended for young children. Tickets are $6 general admission; $3 for students and senior citizens. Call the Backdoor Playhouse at 6595 for more information.