Magazine article American Theatre

Hellish Music

Magazine article American Theatre

Hellish Music

Article excerpt

Hell has a new sound and a new look. Through Feb. 21, Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit is presenting a startlingly different version of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, as imagined by artistic director Phillip DePoy.

For starters, the production features the world premiere of a new English translation by actor and scholar Chris Kayser. "I commissioned a new translation," explains DePoy, "because the original one |by Stuart Gilbert~ was full of 1940s colloquialisms--like 'Okay, you mugs!'--and a lot of standard Brit-stagespeak--like 'I daren't go'--all of which sounds kind of stupid now." He believes Kayser's new text has revitalized the play, moving it "much closer to Sartre's original intent."

If the idioms of the '40s sounded old hat, that era's visual trademarks seemed just right for the production. Working with Parisian director Didier Rousselet, DePoy set the moody existentialist triangle in the black-and-white world of film noir: the lighting, costumes, sets and actors' makeup are all in black and white. The excursion into monochrome is rooted within the theme of the work. "My notion is that Hell is flat and colorless," explains DePoy, in line with Sartre's nightmare of an eternity where "everything is the same, every day is the same."

DePoy adds that film noir characters pursued flawed, failed, ambiguous lives, not unlike Sartre's doomed subjects. However, DePoy is careful not to copy the sartorial style of the postwar era, which he feels would date the work. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.