WILSON, N.C. -  Theatre at Barton will present Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit”, a mainstage production directed by first-time director and senior theatre major Christopher Wallen. Four performances, to be held in Barton’s new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre, will run Thursday through Saturday, April 22-24, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday afternoon, April 25, at 3 p.m.

“No Exit” is an iconic, 1944 existentialist play by Jean-Paul Sartre, originally published in French as “Huis Clos.” The play features only four characters, a single set and is the source of Sartre’s most famous quotation, “Hell is other people.”  (In French, “l’enfer, c’est les autres”). It has been adapted in cinema many times, notably in 1954 by Jacqueline Audry.

The play begins with the Valet leading a man named Joseph Garcin into a room that the audience soon realizes is somewhere in the afterlife; the play mentions many “rooms and passages.” The room has no windows, no mirrors, and only one door. Eventually, Garcin is joined by Inès Serrano, and then another woman, Estelle Rigault. After their entry, the Valet leaves, and the door is closed and locked.  The three expect to be tortured, but no torturer arrives. Eventually, they realize they are there to torture each other.

Theatre director Adam Twiss noted, “This piece is a remarkable undertaking for a student director, but long before our  colleges and universities trained students in the dramatic arts, apprenticeship had been the standard. Looking across the stage and meeting the steady gaze of an experienced actor, or sitting at the right hand of a director as they collaborate with the actors and designers to uncover and communicate the truth of a production is the single best way for our students to develop these same skills.

“Here at Barton, we are committed to providing these opportunities to each and every student and, with this production of Jean Paul Sartre’s iconic, existential drama “No Exit,” we have a chance to see this experience pay off for senior Chris Wallen, an outstanding theatre student and first-time director,” continued Twiss.  “Chris has been onstage, backstage, above the stage and, at times, below the stage, doing everything asked of him, and absorbing even the minutest details.  I am delighted to have his inspired work premiere here at Barton and expect tremendous things from him in the years to come!”

The “No Exit” company, directed by Wallen, includes: Victoria Gonzalez, Jess Jones, Jorge Santos, and Wesley Pridgen.  Chris Bernier, technical director of theatre, will oversee the scenic design. Wesley Pridgen will supervise lighting design, and James Duncan will be responsible for sound design. Sharon Montano is in charge of costume design, and wardrobe will be handled by Lizzie Stafford.  Fletcher Duke is the stage manager.

Tickets will be on sale at the door.  General admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Barton College students, faculty and staff are admitted free with proper ID. Group rates are also available for parties of six or more; contact Adam Twiss at ajtwiss@barton.edu or 252-399-6484 to make arrangements.

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Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.