LSU Theatre Lab Tackles Famous Play “No Exit” Nov. 15-20
BATON ROUGE – LSU Theatre Lab will present productions of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sarte’s “No Exit,” Nov. 15-20 in the Studio Theatre, located in the Music & Dramatic Arts Building.
Considered by many critics to be Sartre’s best play and most accessible dramatization of existentialism, “No Exit” presents a literal road to hell paved with good intentions. It is built on a solid foundation, and leaves the audience plenty to contemplate.
Directed by Christopher Silva, “No Exit” is a one-act play for four actors. A bellhop leads a clerk, journalist and a housewife to their places in eternal damnation. But hell is not as they expect. No instruments of physical torture, flames or devils exist here. Instead, the group faces an annoyingly kitsch study with two sofas, a broken intercom and an appallingly unhelpful bellhop. All expect to be tortured, but no torturer arrives. Instead, they are left to probe each other’s sins, desires and unpleasant memories, gradually realizing that their punishment is that they are each other’s torturers.
Sarte’s 20th century drama paints an afterlife not of “Dante’s Inferno,” but one whose anthem is “hell is other people.” When “No Exit” premiered in Paris, it was an immediate success. Parisian audiences valued Sartre’s subtle message of resistance and implied subversiveness. For contemporary American audiences, the play remains controversial in certain circles, primarily because of its unsympathetic characters and unrelenting bleakness.
Performances of “No Exit” will take place Nov. 15-19 at 7:30 p.m. each night, along with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 20. Tickets are $10 each at the door, with only cash payment accepted.
For more information, call the LSU Department of Theatre at 225-578-4174, or visit www.theatre.lsu.edu.