No Exit

The Long Beach Playhouse's Studio Theatre gets all existential on us this month with their rendition of Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 famous French mind-bender. In No Exit, three people are trapped in a room in the afterlife—why they are stuck there and unable to leave is something they must figure out (hint: the answer is disturbingly grim). The windows are boarded up, the harsh lighting cannot be turned off—it's not a pretty scene. As the story unfolds, we learn of each character's seedy misdeeds in their prior life, and their increasingly annoying personalities. Directed here by Andrew Vonderschmitt, No Exit explores the dark, ugly side of humanity, and delivers Sartre's famous line—and the reason most of us prefer to communicate through blinking screens—that “hell is other people.”

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 25. Continues through Aug. 23, 2014

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