'No Exit'

“Hell is other people.” That may seem like an odd phrase in the age of social networking, for which we willingly sacrifice hours of our day to keep tabs on people we barely know via various digital platforms, but back in 1944, it was a pretty profound statement. The quote originated in No Exit, the one-act play by French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. When three freshly dead folks arrive in the afterlife, instead of finding the type of unspeakable torture described in Dante’s Inferno, they realize their actual punishment is having to interact with one another in a room with no windows and only one door (locked, as the name implies). Y’know, kind of like getting constant status updates from someone you haven’t seen since high school about their terrible child.

Fri., Jan. 21, 11 p.m., 2011


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