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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

NO EXIT | Center for Performance Experiment

Third-year MFA in Acting candidate Josh Jeffers directs his own adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialist classic November 2-5 at the Center for Performance Experiment.

The UofSC Dept. of Theatre and Dance

No Exit

by Jean-Paul Sartre
Adapted and Directed by Josh Jeffers

November 2-5, 2016

Center for Performance Experiment
718 Devine St.
(between Huger and Gadsden Streets, near the Colonial Life Arena)

Show Times:

November 2-4: 8pm
November 5: 3pm & 8pm

$5.  Tickets available only at the door. 
Arrive early as seating is limited.

Sartre’s influential play tells the tale of three deceased souls in the afterlife who discover, after being locked in a room together, that the true torment of Hell just might be “other people!”  Third-year MFA in Acting candidate Josh Jeffers is directing his own adaptation of the 1946 dark comedy, even incorporating some of the original French dialogue.  

“These three people come to realize that their hell isn’t just ‘other people,’” Jeffers says, “but how they are seen, or even see themselves, through the eyes of other people.  They are each tormented by their own self-image based on how they think the other person sees them.”

He explains, “For each character, one person is their salvation and the other is their damnation.  The reason they can’t have their salvation is because of the damnation, and the reason they’re not completely damned is because there’s always a glimmer of hope.  It’s an endless cycle — the hell of repetition.”

Jeffers says the production will utilize design elements sparingly, relying mostly on transformative lighting effects (by senior theatre major Megan Branham) and evocative music to be performed live.  

Appearing as the show’s doomed souls are undergraduate actors Haley Sprankle, Kerri Simmons and Jack Borden, with guest actor Sam Traquina (BA in Theatre, 2011) as the mysterious valet who leads them into their eternal chamber.

According to Jeffers, the show’s famous existentialist philosophy is presented “like a seed that can begin to grow in the minds of the audience.”  

“It’s three people who are constantly not getting what they want, and I think how that resonates with an audience can hit days or weeks later… and that’s the goal.”  

For more information on No Exit or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803.777.9353 or via email at