The Still Alarm by Joseph Arthur
The Stronger by August Strinberg
No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre
August 31 – September 15, 1962
THE STILL ALARM – The romance between Jack Manley (Harry Lacy) and Elinore Fordham (Blanche Thorne) is looked at askance by the villainous John Bird (Nelson Wheatcroft), who is not above trying to burn the lovers alive. But the New York Fire Department comes to their rescue in time for a happy ending. Its famous scene of horses and engines setting out from the firehouse and of the rescue from a burning building made it one of the most popular plays of the era, especially with backwater audiences. Although New York critics sneered, the play chalked up a run of 104 performances when it returned to Manhattan in March 1888.
THE STRONGER – Women, Madam X, a married actress, and Mademoiselle Y, an unmarried actress, meet in a cafe. In this one simple scene Strindberg creates an episode of incredible, poetic power – a snapshot of life so intense, so powerful, that it rivals Beckett at his best. Like a Kafka short story, ‘The Stronger’ is rich in allegory and lends itself to many layers of interpretation; it is a play that takes little more than ten minutes to read / perform, but that one can easily spend hours thinking about afterwards. It is moreover, a powerful play, one that makes a deep impression, and leaves one with the illusion that one has travelled far and seen much, even though the entire thing is actually incredibly short.
NO EXIT – The play begins with a Valet leading a man named Joseph Garcin into a room that the audience soon realizes is in hell (hell is described as a series of “rooms and passages”). The room has no windows, no mirrors, and only one door. Eventually Garcin is joined by Inиs Serrano, and then another woman, Estelle Rigault. After their entry, the Valet leaves and the door is closed and locked. All expect to be tortured, but no torturer arrives. Instead, they are left to probe each other’s sins, desires, and unpleasant memories, gradually realizing that this is their punishment: they are each other’s torturers. At first, the three see events concerning themselves that are happening on Earth, but eventually (as their connection to Earth dwindles and the living move on) they are left with only their own thoughts and the company of the other two. Near the end of the play, Garcin demands he be let out; at his words the door flies open, however, none of the three will leave. This is due partly to the substantial heat and fear of the unknown, but primarily to Garcin’s desire for validation from Inиs that he is not a coward.
|Asst. Producer/Musical Director