Where is our eternal destination? What does the bright light of the hereafter hold in store? What compromises will we make to rationalize the irrational and hopeless?
The Northeast State Community College Department of Theater proudly presents No Exit by French existentialist writer Jean Paul Sartre. Performances are Oct. 20, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium (A202) of Northeast State at Blountville next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Directed by Northeast State’s Aaron Bradley, this claustrophobic, intense play tells the tale of two women and one man locked up together for eternity in one hideous room in hell.
“I wanted the play to be a serious, full-fledged dramatic production,” said Bradley who directed NST’s production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo last fall. “It asks a lot of tough questions about humanity and what people either add or subtract from overall human existence.”
Bradley said the play’s existential bent operated on the notion of “good faith vs. bad faith” in human identity. Bad faith represents an individual pretends to be something he or she is not living as an imposter. Good faith human knows his or her self and lives honestly whether they are right or wrong.
“The basic idea comes from Sartre’s line in the play, ‘hell is other people,’” said Bradley. “If you can’t be true to yourself, you can’t find that truth in other people and it will drive you crazy.”
Caitlin Haltom plays the role of Estelle. Haltom is a three-time Kennedy Center American College Theatre festival nominee for her work in acting and stage management. She has performed in five shows and served as stage manager in last semester’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Some of her favorite roles include Fenris Ulf in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias.
Northeast State Theater alumna Rachel Nicole Lawson portrays the character Inez. A past KCACTF Irene Ryan acting nominee, she has delighted audiences with her roles of Zombie Grandma in Night of the Living Dead, Peggy in Godspell, and Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias.
Playing the role of Cradeau is Jonathan Proctor, an experienced theater performer at the LampLight Theater, Trinity Arts Center, and Drifting Theater. He has performed with Northeast State Theater in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and The Laramie Project.
The play is being stage-managed by Eli Kistner who also serves as master electrician. The production features several accomplished theater veterans including Russ Onks as Scenic Designer, Ashley Guy as Costume and Mask Designer, Todd Burris as Lighting Designer, Lily Gibbons as Assistant Stage Manager, and Edgar Bowlin III as Properties Master.
Director of Northeast State Theater, Elizabeth M. Sloan, is producing the play. Fellow Northeast State Theater professor Brad McKenzie is serving as Technical Director.
“I just hope audiences have a response to it. Like it, love it, hate it; just think and respond,” said Bradley. “As long as we can do this, we’ve still got hope. And hope is what makes us human.”
No Exit is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Tickets are $5 and admission is FREE to Northeast State students with valid identification. The play runs approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
For tickets, visit www.northeaststate.edu/theatre or contact the Northeast State Box Office at 423.354.5169.