Franklin Countys First News

Mt. Blue student directed ‘No Exit’ on March 24 & 25

Actors Julia Lowell, Maggie Murray and Rowan Jellison rehearses 'No Exit.'

FARMINGTON - Mt. Blue Theater Company will present the existential one act play, “No Exit” by Jean Paul Sartre in the Mt. Blue Presentation Forum on March 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. The show will be directed by senior Julian James Thomson whose passion for directing was ignited last year when he co-wrote and directed “Ears,” a one act play presented at the Regional Maine Drama Festival.

When planning the 2016-17 play season at Mt. Blue, MBTC Director Deborah Muise wanted to give Thomson an opportunity to continue to develop his skills as a director. Thomson intends to continue studying next year at Wheaton College and potentially make a career as a director. During the preliminary discussion of shows he wanted to direct, Thomson continually came back to “No Exit” as his only choice. While typically a college or professional theater choice, Thomson maintained that the existential concept of the play is “deeply agitating, profound and something that high school students can relate to.”

Thomson's actors, Rowan Jellison (Garcin), Maggie Murray (Estelle), Julia Lowell (Inez), and Abigail McCarthy (the Valet), have indeed related to the show, taking the sophisticated dialogue, characters, and themes in stride, rehearsing roughly four afternoons a week since January. Thomson’s interpretation and familiarity with the show have encouraged the students to really stretch themselves and develop their acting.

The play tells the story of three souls damned to hell. This is not the typical fire and brimstone or torture chamber concept, instead the three find themselves in a virtually bare room, eventually revealing what landed them in this torment. Ultimately, a sort of love triangle develops, even as they slowly realize just how hellish their situation is.

Thomson notes, "the play explores Sartre's existentialism, more particularly his idea of The Look. . . .To Sartre, we cannot escape the apprehension of others, and they cannot escape ours, and this makes the torture of the three souls. This is an immensely important idea for modern philosophy, and by extension for every teenager."

“‘No Exit’ has fascinated and frightened me,” said Thomson. “I fell in love. It is both a chilling drama and a philosophical experiment in one package.”

Come see this thoughtful and intriguing package on March 24 or 25 in the Mt. Blue Presentation Forum. Tickets are $3.

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