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An Evening in Hell: two one-act plays

No Exit, written by Jean-Paul Sartre
adapted from the French by Paul Bowles
directed by Josh Brassard

Hell Is, written by Josh Brassard
directed by Stephanie Ross

October 19-29, 2017 | Preview October 18 | No shows October 23 & 24
at Mayo Street Arts
10 Mayo Street, Portland ME
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…an intense and absorbing double bill of one-act plays… Brassard, Ross and company add nuance to an evening that raises some big questions.

— Steve Feeney
Portland Press Herald

Pie Man Theatre Company presents a double-bill of one acts for the first production of its 2017-18 season – sure to be a tantalizingly hot evening in Hell.

Mary Fraser as Estelle, Josh Brassard as Cradeau, Danny Gay as Valet and Allison Kelly as Inez in NO EXIT, part of AN EVENING IN HELL. (Photo: Stephanie Ross)

First is Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic one act play No Exit, directed by Pie Man co-founder Josh Brassard. No Exit is a rumination on the nature of existence, humanity and how far one may go to find solace from a stranger. The story is told by three people who are placed together in a room, by the valet of Hell, from which they cannot leave for any reason. The door is in fact impenetrably sealed to them. No Exit presents us with the notion that perhaps the tortures of hell are not burning fires and brimstone but simply that one is forced to endure the physical presence of others who disturb us to our very core.

The second one-act play of the evening will then be presented: Hell Is, a brand new play written by Josh Brassard and directed by Pie Man co-founder Stephanie Ross. Hell Is poses as its premise the intriguing question, “What if Sartre’s vision of Hell, as depicted in No Exit, was right?” Brassard places the playwright of No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir (godmother of modern feminism and Sartre’s long-time partner), Albert Camus (philosopher, writer and one-time friend of Sartre’s), and Wanda Kosakiewicz (the young woman who was a lover to all three of them) into a familiar-seeming room in Hell after their deaths. As each one accepts or denies their predicament, old battles relaunch, answers are demanded, lovers are reunited and perpetrators are confronted. In the end they come to understand they do indeed have all eternity to find their way through Hell together.

…a darkly bracing production… nicely pitched in dress, gesture, and manner.

— Megan Grumbling
Portland Phoenix

Allison Kelly as Wanda, Mary Fraser as Simone and Josh Brassard as JP in HELL IS, part of AN EVENING IN HELL. (Photo: Stephanie Ross)

Both plays are cast with the same actors. For No Exit: Cradeau is played by Josh Brassard, Valet by Danny Gay, Inez by Alison Kelly and Estelle by Mary Fraser. For Hell Is: Jean-Paul Sartre is played by Josh Brassard, Albert Camus by Danny Gay, Simone de Beauvoir by Mary Fraser and Wanda Kosakiewicz by Alison Kelly.

An Evening in Hell: two one-act plays. No Exit, written by Jean-Paul Sartre, adapted from the French by Paul Bowles, presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., with direction by Josh Brassard. Hell Is, written by Josh Brassard, with direction by Stephanie Ross. Featuring Josh Brassard, Mary Fraser, Danny Gay and Allison Kelly. October 19-29, 2017, with a preview performance October 18 (no shows October 23 & 24). Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets: $20 general, $15 seniors, $10 students (with valid student ID). At Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo Street, Portland ME.

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