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Do Yourself a Favor and Don’t Miss No Exit
The Seneca Community Players have a winner with their production of John Paul Sartre’s No Exit, and you will have another chance to see it this weekend.
Dramatic plays are notorious for eliciting poor attendance numbers, and that’s really a shame. It’s true that comedies and musicals are a better draw, but dramatic pieces offer theatre-goers a chance to see the human heart laid bare by actors, directors and technicians who want very much to tell a powerful story in a way that is also “entertaining.”
That’s very much the case in SCP’s current production. You have four accomplished actors putting everything they have into telling a story and making even a trip through Hell (literally) seem very real and extremely fascinating. The characters they put on stage are troubled and know they deserve their fate, although one would deny it nearly to the end.
Their message can be tough but the acting is superb with John King, Susan Stewart Sinicropi, Maria Coleman, and Chris Boulter. They represent a true ensemble directed by Kevin Howson who was able to express his vision through them. This is a play Howson has long wanted to put on stage, and it is clearly a labor of love that the actors took to heart.
There are no eternal flames or thumbscrews in Satre’s vision, but a much more insidious torture: our insufferable inhumanity.
King is best known for comedy performances, and he has a few lines where his comic timing is put to use. As the Bellhop to Hotel Hell (it’s not a name used in the show, but certainly describes the setting) he has heard every question newcomers have asked.
Boulter has most recently been featured for his fine singing voice, which is something you’ll have to attend other shows to hear, but he has appeared in innumerable plays with many professional and semi-professional groups and his talent as a dramatic actor is no less than his vocal talents.
Sinicropi’s character is filled with remorseless bitterness and she becomes the woman you love to hate. Like her character, she is so good at being bad.
Coleman’s character feigns that she cannot understand why she has been relegated to the Hell, though it becomes clear she probably is in denial. She probably has the biggest dramatic leaps to make in her portrayal and Coleman handles her character’s many mood swings with aplomb.
Kudos also go to the directing. Working with a limited set and lighting that seem right for this show, Howson has truly brought his vision to life.
Far too few people saw this show on the first weekend, but you still have a chance this weekend with performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and a 2pm matinée on Sunday. The show is at the old Mynderse School (Academy Square), between the Veterans Park and Library in Seneca Falls. An elevator is available. The auditorium is on the second floor.
Do yourself a big favor and see it. It’s just an hour and a half, no intermission and while you won’t leave with a song in your head, you will leave thinking… a great compliment to all.
Tickets also available at the door.
Disclosure: The writer is also a member of the Board of Directors of Seneca Community Players.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Deb Bly
Seneca Community Players
Seneca Falls, NY, September 2, 2018 – CAST FOR NO EXIT BY JEAN-PAUL SARTRE ANNOUNCED
Seneca Community players have announced the cast to perform their upcoming October production of No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre translated from the French by Paul Bowles.
Sartre’s drama occurs in a dreary room in hell which is devoid of respite, salvation and strangely enough, an official torturer. One by one, three characters are ushered into the room where they will spend all of eternity with each other. The whip and rack is replaced by the unrelenting judgments of each other’s wrongdoings which earned them their place in this afterlife. Their placement together being no mistake, as they will forever deny each other any personal salvation.
The French journalist Cradeau will be played by Chris Boulter of Seneca Falls. A self-proclaimed pacifist, Cradeau refused to fight in the Second World War, and fled to Switzerland citing his pacifist principles as the cause of his betrayal. He was captured by his comrades and executed as a deserter and a coward, a defamation to his character which he unknowingly seeks to reverse.
The Spanish secretary Inez will be played by Susan Sinicropi of Seneca Falls. As someone who was described in life as “one of those women,” Inez truly lived to be the misfortune and bane of others. So much so that she stole the love of her own cousin for herself, only to have her new-found lover kill her in grief of their treachery. Inez seeks what little comfort she can find in the character of Estelle, whose affections she hopes to sway from Cradeau.
The New York socialite Estelle will be played by Maria Coleman of Auburn. Having previously admired herself with six large mirrors in her bedroom, Estelle’s beauty was exceeded only by her vanity. She married for wealth, but fell for another younger man. In her infidelity, she conceived a baby, but by Estelle’s hand, its life was short lived because her image was in jeopardy. Looking to gain as much admiration from men in death as she did in life, she longs for Cradeau’s affection which would doubtfully ever be enough for her.
The begrudging Bellboy will be played by John King of Waterloo. Tasked with bringing the occupants to their room, the Bellboy is not above mocking any semblance of humanity the characters have left.
Guest directing No Exit for Seneca Community Players is Kevin Howson, a recent UConn Graduate with Bachelors in both Theatre and Communication. Howson believes that Sartre crafted No Exit to exhibit his own vision of a personal hell. “Sartre was chiefly an existentialist philosopher,” notes Howson, “It is from his most prolific writing, Being and Nothingness, that Sartre gives us an insight about what the famous No Exit line of, ‘Hell is other people,’ truly means. In our perception of other people, Sartre claims that we have the tendency to recognize other human beings as objects and not as the deeply complex beings that they are. This is beautifully exhibited in No Exit as we are given three characters who objectify each other for the purpose of trying to obtain some semblance of personal salvation.”
Evening performances for No Exit will be from October 5th – 7th and October 12th – 14th with a 8:00 PM curtain. Matinees will be on Sunday October 7th and Sunday October 14th at 2:00 PM. All performances will be at Academy Square at 12 North Park Street in Seneca Falls. For more information, call 516-330-8916.