Spring has finally sprung and for seniors that means theses should soon be coming to a close. For theater majors Rose Dumbrigue ’16, William Balta ’16 and Lucy Miller ’16, this means rehearsing for their upcoming theater production and honors thesis project, “No Exit.”
It is customary for theater majors to do a senior thesis project in the winter and an honors thesis project during spring term. The production is set to premier in Yulman Theater, Studio A. The times are: Thursday, May 12 at 9 p.m., Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee show on Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
Dumbrigue, Balta and Miller have all worked with each other in multiple Theater Department productions, including last year’s performance of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
The trio has known each other since their sophomore year and have all starred in each other’s individual senior theses projects. “Every show we’ve ever done at Union has been with each other, so I think it was important to us that we take this opportunity to do this project together” commented Dumbrigue.
“No Exit,” by French philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre, stars three people, Joseph Garcin, Inès Serrano, and Estelle Rigault, who are lead by a strange valet to a mysterious room, which they soon learn is Hell and that they have been damned to remain in the room for eternity as punishment for their wickedness in life.
“The characters discover that they are in Hell and that they are each other’s torments,” explained Dumbrigue.
Dumbrige will portray Inès Serrano, a working class lesbian who falls in love with Miller’s character, the wealthy Estelle Rigault. Dumbrigue elaborates, “But Inès cannot have Estella, because Estella is in love with a cowardly military man, Joseph Garcin.” The character of Joseph Garcin will be portrayed by Balta.
Dumbrigue added, “however, Garcin is not really interested in Estelle. He wants to be brave and seeks Inès’ validation that he is brave and good, but Inès hates Garcin and denies him any satisfaction because she truly believes him to be a coward.”
The play continues to divulge in the characters’ backstories, including why they were sent to Hell in the first place and eventually explores the budding relationships between them as they suffer in the room together.
In addition to Dumbrigue, Balta and Miller starring in “No Exit,” the play will be directed by fellow theater major, Cassie Padilla ’16. Padilla will be working the soundboard and the lighting for the show, as the production involves very low-key lighting, costuming, set design and minimum sound cues.
Dumbrigue states, “for this particular project, we all wanted to focus on the acting.” “And as “No Exit” is basically a three person show. Each character dominates the stage equally, with the exception of the valet, who only has about ten minutes of stage time.” No Exit,” expresses Sartre’s philosophy that “Hell is other people.”
Dumbrigue further explains, “The play itself is a reflection of Sartre’s beliefs that every time a person looks at another person, they instantly objectify them, and there is no way to escape that objectification. You can never truly be your own person because someone always objectifies you. I want this performance to prompt the audience to think about Sartre’s philosophy and on a bigger scale think about how we perceive other people and what Hell means to us.”