Open auditions for the highly-acclaimed existentialist play No Exit, by Jean-Paul Sartre, will be held at the Blue Slipper Theatre, 113 E. Callender St. in downtown Livingston, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. For more information, call 222-7720.

Parts are available for two women and two men, ages 18 and up. No prepared material is necessary: there will be an opportunity to review excerpts from the script prior to auditioning. The production, directed by Marc Beaudin – who directed last season’s Proof – will run weekends, Feb. 15 through Mar. 3.

The play, with is famous line “L’enfer, c’est les Autres” or “Hell is other people,” pits three strangers, locked together in a room for eternity, against one another as they slowly come to realize that the torture in store for them in Hell isn’t racks and hot pokers, but rather each other.

According to Beaudin, “Sartre wrote No Exit during the Nazi occupation of France, and Albert Camus directed its debut, despite rehearsals being continually blocked then re-authorized by the Nazis. It was an instant hit, in part because it addressed the main issues the French were grappling with: the fight for liberty and the hell of oppression by the “Other.” Literally the Other was an occupying army of fascists. But at the same time, the Other was, and is, the existential belief that unless we have the courage to define, through our actions, who we are, our truth will be defined for us by other people. If we only exist through the eyes of others, we become objects. This, for Sartre, is Hell.

“Of course, it was also an instant hit because it’s a compelling, frightening, empathetic, absurd, chilling and incredibly funny story. As with much great theatre, humor is the most direct path to truth.”

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