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Theatre UAF to open season with 'No Exit'

Submitted by Craig Brookes
Phone: 907-474-6959


Photos by Todd Paris, University Marketing and Publications
Photo caption below.
Craig Brookes as Garcin, left, and Anna Gagne-Hawes as Estelle, are two of the main characters in Theatre UAF's production of "No Exit" by Jean Paul Sartre. The play opens Friday, Sept. 28 in the Salisbury Theatre on the Fairbanks campus.

Photo caption below.
Anna Gagne-Hawes as Estelle, left, and Jenny Schlotfeldt as Inez, are two of the main characters in Theatre UAF's production of "No Exit" by Jean Paul Sartre.

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Theatre UAF will kick off its 2007-2008 season on Friday, Sept. 28 with its production of Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit" at 8:15 p.m. in the Salisbury Theatre.

"No Exit" is the senior thesis project for student director Ben Coffroth. The production features traditional theatrical elements and a concurrent performance of butoh, a contemporary avant-garde dance form which originated in post-World War II Japan.

The story revolves around three strangers who find themselves locked in a room together in Hell. Garcin, a journalist from Rio de Janeiro, Inez, a postal worker from France, and Estelle, a French debutante, must explore the reasons for their placement together in an effort for redemption. The characters are drawn to each other for different reasons, either for salvation or manipulation. The result is a stalemated love triangle as the conflicting personalities wear on each other.

The butoh movement piece, "Huis Clos," features dancers portraying the seven deadly sins. The choreography is inspired by the events of the play and reflects the flaws of the main characters.

The two pieces are performed in adjacent spaces and audiences face each other, with the two presentations in between, creating a mirrorlike effect. Audience members attending "No Exit" will view "Huis Clos" in the background while attendees of the movement production will see the play in the background.

"The theme of mirrors is a common one in existentialist philosophy and therefore in 'No Exit,'" Coffroth said. "The characters in the play spend a large amount of time using each other to validate or identify themselves. Having two audiences facing each other punctuates the theme."

The production of "No Exit" marks the beginning of a busy year for Theatre UAF, with Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" opening in November.

"No Exit" will run Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6 at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at the UAF Wood Center or at the Theatre UAF box office, which also accepts credit card orders over the phone at 474-7751. The Theatre Box office is open Monday through Friday, noon - 5 p.m. and two hours prior to a performance. Admission for "No Exit" is $15 with discounts of $12 for seniors, military and UAF employees, and $7 for students with ID. Ticket stubs for "No Exit" will be accepted for entry into "Huis Clos." Tickets for "Huis Clos" alone can be purchased for $6 or $3 for students with ID.

Additional information is available online at www.uaf.edu/theatre/season.