Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trapped in Hell with “No Exit”




Of course some people would think that "hell" is just a place or a setting that is
always negative and never changes. Though that may be true to most, Jean Paul Sartre
begs to differ. Satre’s one-act play, “No Exit”, is set in 1942 with four characters who figure out the hard way what it is like to be trapped in hell.
The Florissant Valley Theatre Program presented a production of the play for two 
weekends in September and October. Professor Dan Betzler directed the play that kicked off the program’s theater season.   
    Cole Jacobs, a veteran to the Florissant Valley stage, played the role of Bellboy who was used to being in hell and had adapted to the environment in a creepy, yet funny way. He didn't even know how to blink anymore because apparently you don't sleep in hell. He orients the new residents to their new home.
 Cradeau, played by Josh Wolf, was a journalist at a newspaper with a policy to tell the truth about
 people but hated when others talked about him. He was a perfect example of not being able to take what you dish out.
     The female characters add intrigue and complexity to the plot. Estelle, 
played by Becky Champion, questioned why she was brought to hell and eventually reveals her mean and malicious nature.  Laurell Stevenson played Inez as the epitome of evil from
start to finish making her character fun to watch. Inez was what they called “one of those women” due to her bisexual tendencies. So while
Estelle and Cradeau were trying to figure out why they were sent to hell, Inez
knew exactly why she went there.
        
Overall this show was amazing. The performers were exceptional in their portrayal.
Each actor brought intricate details to their characters that made them so special, unique
and exciting to watch. In some ways you can even feel empathy for the characters and
understand why they were the way they were. The gist of the play made you
stop and think, “Could this be me? Or could this be you?” It makes you wonder if hell is really a place or if it’s what Sartre interprets it as, other people?

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