‘No Exit’ brings questions of morality to SV


The hellish ambiance of the room was enough to leave the audience in awe. The dark colors and depressing music could change anyone’s mood to match the dark and twisted tone of this play.

On Wednesday November 2, 2016 the Spring Valley Theatre Department put on its production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit adapted by Paul Bowles. Director Anthony Coffield brings “raw theatre” to Spring Valley and asks students to not only take a deep look at human nature, but also within themselves.

Garcin (Francisco Espinoza), Inez (Anastasia Lutz) and Estelle (Alyssa Boughton) are three damned souls sentenced to spend eternity in an empty room. They must all sit and ponder about their lives and decide whether or not they will confess to the reason of their damnations.

In a time span that seems to be about a couple months to a year, the room is filled with love, hate, and casual moments of friendship (Only to be ruined moments later by more bickering). This being the case they realize that their punishment isn’t physical torture, but psychological torture that is inflicted by the other two in the room.

Francisco Espinoza and Joshua Littau gave the play a grand opening by delivering a mesmerizing first scene filled with passionate acting. Espinoza portrays Garcin as a narcissistic journalist who is really a coward, but hopes to convince Inez and Estelle otherwise. With his brusque manner of speaking and rigid personality Espinoza successfully brings Garcin alive on stage. Although he only gets very little stage time, Littau manages to deliver one of the most convincing performances in the entire play. He portrays the reticent valet that serves the devil by taking the damned to their predetermined rooms. Littau depicted the valet so well that he didn’t even blink throughout his entire performance in order to make his role as convincing as possible. Anastasia Lutz gave the most memorable and convincing performance out of the whole play. Lutz portrayed the cynical Inez who was a postal clerk during her time on earth and died from suicide. She never clearly says why she is in hell despite the fact that she was the one who forced Garcin and Estelle to confess to their wrongdoings. Lutz really brings Inez to life by being true to her hostile personality and her cruel honesty.  Alyssa Boughton also gave a satisfying performance by perfectly portraying Estelle’s flamboyant personality.

These amazing performances were, of course, perfectly accompanied with a set that was the highlight of the entire play. Upon entering the theatre the mood of the audience was completely changed from the happy bright sunny day to a dark, morbid atmosphere that perfectly resembles that of the original play.

The colors used to set the mood and tones were red, blue and purple. These colors being used perfectly to represent anger, hatred, sadness and acceptance. For example when Estelle tried to kill Inez by stabbing her with a letter opener the stage was suffused with the color red that made the audience flinch in their seats.

  During the play there was depressing music playing quietly in the background specifically meant to play mind games with the audience. This music gave the audience an even greater sense of sadness. What the script lacked in amusement the impeccable design and lighting of everything made  up for it by being absolutely breathtaking.