Audiences will join Lost Flamingo Company for an eternity in hell in Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit.
No Exit will be performed in Baker Center Theatre on Sunday at 2 p.m. and March 18 at 8 p.m.
The show follows the afterlives of three characters sharing a desolate room in hell for all of eternity. Though they initially deny accusations of guilt, the damned souls deliver the truths of their lives to the audience and explain why they were sent to hell. It follows them as they learn to live together.
As an early thinker in the existentialist movement, Sartre held the philosophical belief that humans are responsible for defining their own existence through acts of free will.
“It’s a lot of abstract thinking about good versus evil, mortality, how short life can be,” Lucas Hackenburg, the assistant director of the play, said.
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Sarah Pinter, the director and president of Lost Flamingo Company, said the play offers an “incredibly unique” experience because of its cast size of only four actors.
Because the show includes only a four-person cast, each character plays an important role, Hackenburg, a senior studying communication studies, said.
“It is totally focused on the actors themselves,” Pinter, a junior studying mathematics and statistical environmental science, said. “It’s lot more pressure on the actors.”
The actors improvised mock interviews to create a backstory for their characters and acted in scenes they wrote themselves to further character development.
Spencer Thomakos, who plays Joseph Garcin, one of the three trapped souls, wrote his scene highlighting the inconsistent nature of his character — first focusing on his false bravery, and then finding the more truthful version of Garcin. Thomakos said his character is deceitful, wanting to be perceived as a good person.
“All of the auditions I did for the Lost Flamingo plays were characters that were sort of undesirable to be around,” Thomakos, a fifth-year in specialized studies with a focus on art and film, said. “I don’t know if that is a 'me' thing, but it is fun to play someone more scummy than a little goody-goody.”
No Exit is simplistic in all other aspects, from design to technology, with a predetermined set written into the script.
“(The simplicity strips) the characters down to the clothes on their backs,” Pinter said. “There’s nothing left but you and your soul.”
Hackenburg said the show will lead the audience to consider their own lives and how they value their relationships, comparing themselves to the characters when they were alive. Though the characters’ actions might not be relatable, Hachenburg said their feelings and motivations are.
“It deals with a lot of issues that aren’t generally brought up,” Hackenburg said. “So I think it is one of those plays that is really going to make people think at the end and make them really kind of appreciate the life that they have.”