February 18, 2005

Publication Date: Friday, February 18, 2005


No way out from Satan's grip

Dragon Production stages one-act Sartre show

By Allison Gerard


What is hell? Is it a fiery pit or does it even exist? Jean-Paul Sartre's existential play "No Exit," opening in Mountain View on Feb. 18, explores one possibility of what hell is really like.

There are no flames, no torture chambers and no devil, just three people in a room from which there is no escape. Sounds like no big deal.

The one-act play's three characters Cradeau, Inez, and Estelle contemplate why they've been sent to hell, a conversation that ultimately becomes an intricate web of mental torment, self-deception and fear.

"This is a relationship play about why these three people have been brought together in one room," said Meredith Hagedorn, executive producer. "It's about how and why we come into contact with each other and how are we going to deal with the same people for the rest of eternity with no exit."

Under the direction of Jane Geesmen, the three characters are played by Hagedorn, John Byrd and Shannon Stowe. Scott Hartley plays the valet.

The show is produced by Dragon Productions and being staged at the Pear Avenue Theatre. The company first came to the Bay Area in the fall of 2000 and has produced three plays at the Pear Avenue Theatre location.

Dragon is in the process of raising money to secure an independent location, said Hagedorn.

"Our goal is to keep prices down and let professional theater be in reach to the masses," Hagedorn added.

The company is trying to raise enough money to be able to move into a building in downtown Palo Alto by the end of the year.

The show on March 5 will raise funds for that purpose, and admission on that evening only will be free. After the performance, the audience will be asked to write down why they should be allowed to leave the building and how much they are willing to pay in order to leave. What a person bids will be how much they donate to Dragon to leave the theater.

"We want people to use their imagination and have a lot of fun while they are participating and just get into the spirit of the play," said Hagedorn.

E-mail Allison Gerard at agerard@mv-voice.com


What: "No Exit," presented by Dragon Productions. Written by Jean-Paul Sartre. Where: Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear Ave. Unit K, Mountain View When: Feb. 18 through March 6. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Cost: Tickets for opening night are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. All other performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Group discounts are available. Call: 493-2006 or visit www.dragonproductions.net.

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