Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Leesburg Theatre Company No Exit

By • Feb 14th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Leesburg Theatre Company’s production of No Exit [MP3 7:03 3.2MB].

No Exit
Leesburg Theatre Company
Carver Center, Purcellville, VA
$15/$12 Students and Seniors
Through Feb. 17th

Laura: This is the review of No Exit, performed by the Leesburg Theatre Company, in Purcellville, VA. Mike and I saw the Saturday evening, February 9, 2008, performance.

Mike: This is a deep show. You get into a lot of existential questions and a few answers, but a lot of questions, such as “why am I here?” “what’s my purpose in life?” and it’s an interesting take on it. Not a fun show really, but there are some good bits in it.

Laura: This was a thinking show, had a lot of deep messages. Also, kind of made you stop and ponder the meaning of life, and how you live your life, and the consequences of the choices and actions that you make. It was very well acted, there were actually some funny lines in the show, but overall it was a deep serious one.

Mike: No Exit is a play by John-Paul Sartre, adapted from the French by Paul Bowles. Three people are introduced into a room with only one exit, no mirrors, and no windows that go anywhere. What are they doing there? They’re not quite sure, until one of them realizes that they’re in Hell, and Hell is other people.

Laura: The first person to enter the room was Vincent, played by Hans Dettmar. He was a little bit nervous, he wasn’t quite sure what was going on, realized he was a little bit uncomfortable about being the only one there, until the bellboy told him there will be others coming in. So then he was willing to wait, but once he was by himself he was nervous again and started pacing and trying to look for the exit, and then realized there was no exit.

Mike: I think the Vincent character was the most obnoxious person, and I think being stuck with him would be Hell. That was just, I don’t even know what to say about him, the character was quite annoying. He wasn’t strong enough to stand up to the women, or to say what he really wanted, and just really obnoxious. Not obnoxious I guess, but just disagreeable, whiny a little bit.

Inez though came in, played by Marianne Meyers, and she was annoying too, but in a totally different way. She was very smart, and she figured out where they were, and what the deal was, and was condescending, and was another person I don’t want to be stuck in an elevator with, let alone Hell for eternity.

Laura: She was kind of freaky, she made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, just because I felt like she was going to pounce at any moment, not necessarily physically, but more verbally. She was very angry.

Mike: And the third person to join the room was Estelle, played by Leah Daily. She was very self-obsessed. One of her first lines was “Where are the mirrors? I need a mirror to make sure my makeup is ok.” And didn’t really get past the superficiality of herself. She did have one line late in the show that I liked “Appreciate what you have, maybe that’s what I need to learn.” I thought that was a pretty nice summary of the show, that actually there’s in Hell, but they’re still learning. They also asked questions of themselves “How can we help each other,” “Who can help us?” “What difference does it make what those people out in the real world think?” There were a lot of questions you can ask yourself that were raised by this show.

Laura: Estelle was, I think, the funniest of the three characters. She had some good one liners, it was obvious that she really only cared about herself, and getting the most enjoyment out of life. I didn’t feel uncomfortable around her, I actually thought she was kind of funny.

Mike: Each of those three was brought into the room by the Bellboy, played by Elliot Dondero-Petit. He was kind of basic, he was very neutral, he didn’t really expound too much, he didn’t share too much information other than the very basics. I thought it would have been kind of cute if he had asked for a tip from the people as he led them in, but that didn’t happen. They also didn’t have any bags for him to carry. But he was interesting.

Then there was the Lead Architect, and Architects One and Two, played by Terry Smith, Lauren Babcock, and Heidi Lewis. They introduced the show, and made me think, just the way they were dressed and their strong white makeup, it reminded me of the old Mad magazine comic strip, Spy vs. Spy. Not really anything they did, but just the spookiness, and the way they were walking around the stage.

Laura: The set was designed by the show’s director, Brian Garrison. It was very basic, there were three sofas in the room, each a different color. It was interesting, they all picked one, and when Estelle came in she made Vincent switch with her, because it went better with her dress. Otherwise it was very plain. There were no windows, the one door was locked. Vincent went to the window at one time, and pulled the curtains back and reacted strongly when it was all bricked up. He knew he was in an enclosed space for eternity.

Mike: The lighting designer was Ashlyn Lambert. A few times the door did open, there was a strong red light shining in as if it were a very hot place. And whenever the three residents would be able to look out and see what was happening in the real world, there would be a bright light that shone down on them and it would gradually fade to black as the memories of the person would fade away. And that was pretty effective.

Laura: One interesting comment Mike and I were discussing was that the show reminded us of Survivor: Hell. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know who’s going to get thrown off, so it was a really interesting premise. I think it was carried off very well.

Mike: We talked with the show’s director Brian Garrison, after the performance. He did mention that they are having a hard time finding performance space in Leesburg, since this is the Leesburg Theatre Company, so they actually performed this show at the Carver Center, in Purcellville. I wanted to let everybody out there listening know that you’re not the only ones having a hard time finding theater space. A lot of the smaller groups that we’ve been seeing shows with, have also had a hard time. It’s a common problem around this area.

Laura: No Exit is playing for one more weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8:00, and a Sunday matinee at 2:00, at the Carver Center in Purcellville, VA. The show ran about an hour and a half, with no intermission.

Mike: I’d like to commend the Leesburg Theatre Company for taking on a production that is not frequently performed in the DC region.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Lead Architect: Terry Smith
  • Architect 1: Lauren Babcock
  • Architect 2: Heidi Lewis
  • Bellboy: Elliot Dondero-Pettit
  • Vincent Cradeau: Hans Dettmar
  • Inez Serrano: Marianne Meyers
  • Estelle Delauney: Leah Daily


  • Producer: Theresa Bender:
  • Director: Brian Garrison
  • Assistant Director/Production Stage Manager: Laura Moody
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Elliott Dondero-Pettit
  • Set Designer: Brian Garrison
  • Master Carpenter: Paul Gernhardt
  • Set Crew: Terry Smith
  • Divan Design/Construction: Jay Daily
  • Set Construction: Paul Gernhardt, Terry Smith, Laura Babcock, Jeff Bender, Elliott Dondero-Pettit, Leah Daily, Hans Dettmar, Ashlyn Lambert, Luke Lambert, Heidi Lewis, Paige Mixon, Theresa Bender, Brian Garrison
  • Set Painting: Paul Towry, Kellie Touhig, Gina Holl, Paul Gernhardt, Brian Garrison, Hans Dettmar, Marianne Meyers, Jeff Benders
  • Lighting Designer/Master Electrician: Ashlyn Lambert
  • Light Board Operator: Ashlyn Lambert
  • Sound Design: Brian Garrison
  • Sound Board Operators: Paige Mixon, Jeff Bender
  • Costume/Makeup/Prop Mistress: Jackie Gudgel
  • Publicity: Theresa Bender, Katie Freund, Bianca Swift, Christina Protic
  • House/Box Office Manager: Sue Dial
  • House: Laura Schier, Barb Carpenter
  • Audition Team: Jessica Aliff, Michael Broussard, Tiffany Walker
  • Program Design: Theresa Bender, Kevin Summers
  • Show Photography: Laura Moody
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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