‘No Exit’ from hell in new Masque’s first show

Morgan Sterrett, freshman in theatre, plays Inés Serrano, Ben Deghand, senior in theatre, plays The Valet, Peighton Jamison, freshman in theatre, plays Estelle Rigault, and Sam Johnson, senior in arts and sciences, plays Joseph Garcin, during the final dress rehearsal of the K-State Theatre production of "No Exit" by Jean Paul Sartre on April 15, 2015. Showings of "No Exit" takes place on April 16-18 at the Purple Masque Theatre at 7:30 PM. Tickets on sale at McCain box office with general admission $7 Senior, military, K-State faculty and staff $6 Students, and youth $4. (Mara Atzenhoffer | The Collegian)

The new Purple Masque Theatre will be broken in with a performance of “No Exit” by Jean Paul Sartre. The play, originally in French, was translated and directed by Logan Jones, senior in theater.

Jones originally read the play in Introduction to French Literature. He said he fell in love with the play’s themes and felt the need to tell the story.

“’No Exit’ has been a work in progress since last March,” Jones said.

According to the K-State theater website, two women and one man are locked up forever in one hideous room in hell in “No Exit.” The windows are closed off with brick. There are no mirrors. The lights can never be shut off.

There is no exit.

Morgan Sterrett, freshman in theater, said one challenge the actors faced was trying to find an interesting way to keep the show alive for 90 minutes with only three of them on stage.

The irony of “No Exit” is that the torture faced in this hell is not of the rack and fire from folklore, but of the burning humiliation of each soul as it is ripped of its pretenses by the cruel curiosity of the damned, according to the theater website.

One thing Sam Johnson, senior in arts and sciences, said he learned through the process and hopes the audience takes away, is to be nice to people.

“You never know who you will be locked in a room for eternity with,” Johnson said.

Paul Sartre’s version of hell in “No Exit” is one where the soul is in an eternal torment as it is deprived of secrecy and its darkest deeds are harshly exposed.

In the show, the each character has their own story as to why they are in hell. Each of those stories leads to the reason why one is the torturer for the other.

Ben Deghand, senior in theater, said audience members will “experience true emotion in its darkest state.”

“No Exit” is the first show to be performed in the brand-new Purple Masque Theatre, located on the West Side of Old Stadium. The cast and crew of this show are making history with their performance.

“Working in the new Purple Masque, we overcame the hard parts and adjusted to the new stage and the new space,” Peighton Jamison, freshman in theater, said.

Jones said what makes this story unique is the relevance it has to today’s society. The characters are very relatable and the fear of the afterlife and unknown is pertinent to society.

The first showing, on Wednesday night, was only open to majors from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

“Logan’s translation is very poetic,” Elise Poehling, senior in applied music, said.

A major theme of the show is an old one: hell is other people.

“This was one of the best experiences of my life,” Cat Huck, senior in theater, said. “The show is so fun.”