Sartre’s ‘No Exit’ morphs at the Ruins

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What happens when three damned souls are trapped within the confines of an existential hell and have no way out but transform  themselves into the vipers that they have become as consequence of the warped lives that they have lived on earth, against the abominable eye of an absentee landlord?

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This contemporary retelling of Jean-Paul Sartre’s celebrated play on French existentialism, No Exit (Huis Clos), as interpreted by Director Lito Casaje for Dramatis Personae is presented by the Embassy of France to the Philippines in partnership with the Intramuros Administration and the Department of Tourism in celebration of the Francophonie Festival of the French-speaking Embassies of France, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, Cambodia and Laos, as well as the Consulate of Monaco.

No Exit’s invitational performance will be staged on March 14, 7:30 p.m. at the ruins of the Rajah Sulayman Theatre of Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. However, the producers have generously allotted seats to interested theater enthusiasts. For seat reservations, you may send an email to culturel.ambafrance.manille@gmail.com.

Featuring a predominantly young cast of homegrown talents from Dramatis Personae namely Ryan Mendoza, Trishia Perez, Sera Mistal, Arvey Lopena and Raymond de Leon, with lighting design by Ian Bautista, stage management by Lourdes Isip, sounds and music by Jerry Garcia and choreography by Arvey Lopena, No Exit’s invitational performance is also brought to you by the Alliance française de Manille, Barcelo Café, and Pixel Media Arts Production, Inc.

Huis Clos, the original title of the play, is the French equivalent of the legal term, “in camera,” referring to a private discussion behind closed doors. First performed at the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier in May 1944, No Exit is a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity.

It is the source of Sartre’s especially famous and often misinterpreted quotation “L’enfer, c’est les autres,” or “hell is other people,” a reference to Sartre’s ideas about the “Look” and the perpetual ontological struggle of being caused to see oneself as an object in the world of another consciousness.

No Exit is also available for nationwide school and university tours and socio-civic fund-raising events. For reserved bookings, please contact Dramatis Personae at litocasaje@rocketmail.com or call 09282070827.

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