No Exit: Existentialism Comes to Clairemont

Tran Dang, Staff Writer

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The lights dim as the sound of footsteps echo throughout the theater; keys jingle and a door opens. This is Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” directed by Michael Tesis and Rusty Meyer.

Tesis and Meyer, both senior members of the Thespian Cub at CHS, took advantage of the opportunity to direct their last play.

Danny Sabin, a freshman, said that the play was“ super interesting and had a lot of different dialogue and lines. Although it wasn’t super prop heavy, it focused on the dialogue.”

 

No Exit was an excellent play that skillfully  conveyed a sense of insanity. The directors cast a talented group of young actors that each had unique roles. The main three were the characters Joseph Garcin played by Vincent Pizzo, Estelle Rigault played by Maggie Johnson and Inez Serrano played by Eve Eisenhart.

 

These three actors were amazing, diving into their roles as if they truly were their characters. They really showed the characters’ slow descent into madness,  seamlessly transitioning from calm and cool to manic and insane.

 

“At the beginning you don’t really know anything about the characters and nothing is really shown about their backstories, but through dialogue you can sort of piece them together to really learn the entire story” says Sabin.

Mackenzie Little, a junior, stated that “All the actors did really well,  so it felt like it was real.”

No Exit also featured a group of mysterious figures called the “valets,” played by Noah Hascall, Lillina Sato and Jackson Enzler. These characters added a whole new level of dark humor as they joked and watched.

 

“I was, honestly, a little bit confused about those characters since they weren’t overly involved. They mostly just added to the feeling of the play where it’s a little bit creepy,” Sabin commented.

 

The “valets” laughed and acted like the little devils they were. Throughout the play, there were candles lit on the stage, which they would blow out during the show. They were calm and collected, elegant in all manners and actions.

 

The last set of actors were the “shadow cast characters.” The shadow cast was a group of actors that remained silent the whole time. Instead, they acted out living world scenes and further enhanced the overall story.

 

Although the set was minimal, the  pieces that were included were full of details. Three chairs were in the room, all were elegant and beautifully decorated. There was a large heart above the single door. The chairs were beautiful and reflected each character. They were each a different color which matched the outfits of the characters and the respective ‘Valets’.

 

Little added, “The set was really interesting and the costuming was done well.”

 

No Exit used a variety of sounds and special effects. The intentional constant humming and occasional electrical hitch made the silent moments much more dramatic and serious. The music came and went, as did other sounds. The trolling of the funeral bells were perfectly played and further reinforced the idea of death.

 

The spotlight directed focus and drew the eyes towards a person and highlighted the scene. The blue lighting made the scene feel colder and darker.

 

Sabin said, “I thought the lighting was interesting. It was three different colors, the red, the blue and the green and made it really interesting. It sort of gave each character their own theme.”

No Exit was an a very intriguing play that portrayed psychological horror and showed the slow madness that cripples each character as they go through hell. The actors immersed themselves into their character’s lives really showed the full potential of it. The lighting and sounds added a new dimension to the show really took it beyond what it would’ve been if it was just acting. It made the audience feel as if they were in hell with the characters.

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