When Jean Paul Sarte wrote his original draft of Huis Clos a French existential play about three strangers trapped in a room, he was imagining a world quite different than the one we live in now.
Through many adaptations, Huis Clos became No Exit. A play that has endured centuries and still finds relevant in roads in our culture now.
Written in 1944 the play was a classic of the French Existential Movement, it allowed for audience supposition and the subjectivity of the art world, but in a theatrical form. Ad Astra’s newest production aims to take that classic theme and submerge the audience into the world of the play in an intense and immersive theatre experience.
Imagine being trapped in a room with two other people whom you didn’t know and you weren’t terribly sure why you were all there. Leave it to the three strangers, (Inez, Estelle and Mr. Garcin) to figure it all out. Joined occasionally by a mysterious Valet who announces their entrances and imparts the rules of the room and the stay on the guests you have a mystery that isn’t unraveled until the very end.
Expertly staged and translated by director Heather Ives. No Exit is a claustrophobic piece of art that at its core is simple but has so much more meaning once you sit and marinate with it. Asking questions about the world we live in, the mistakes we have made in our lives and what is worthy of punishment, the play asks the audience to go along for a strange and wild ride until the end. Are they trapped there too with these three? Do they have a chance to get out too? What have we done to deserve this? All of the questions will be addressed if not always answered in this phenomenal piece of classic theatre.
The cast and crew of No Exit consists of –
- Lisa Bisel as Inez
- Tracy Bell as Estelle
- Brad Stipcak as Mr. Garcin
- Mikoda Lancaster as The Valet
- Directed and translated by Heather Ives
- Stage Managed by Jamie Schartz
- Set design by Grace Foiles
No Exit will leave you smiling, grimacing and asking questions of yourself and your neighbors.
“I think No Exit is great counter programming to what we have already done this season,” said artistic director Craig Ruis Fisher. “We started offwith a play called The Christians which is all about the repercussions of changing beliefs and the question, is there a hell? I think No Exit really stands as a great counterpoint to answer that question”.
JUNE 7 – 10
SHOW TIME: 7:30p
TICKETS: $10 in advance online and $13 at door
VENUE: The Jayhawk Theatre Gallery | 720 SW Jackson
RECOMMEND AUDIENCE: 16+ / Adults due to content and language