No End Meeting - June 27 - June 28, 2020

Peninsula Youth Theatre

  Director's Note  

No End Meeting was inspired by the play No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre. I can't remember if I read No Exit in college or high school, but I do have the feeling I read it in the original French (which was its own brand of torture for my limited skills.) 


The existentialist idea espoused by No Exit is that hell is other people. Three damned souls are cursed to spend eternity in a well-appointed sitting room slowly driving each other mad. Each selected as the perfect instrument of torture for the other two. 


The idea for No End Meeting came to me in the early days of "shelter in place," when I was spending the majority of my days in Zoom meetings. I found myself thinking about No Exit and what it would feel like to be trapped in an endless Zoom meeting.  I quickly saw this germ of an idea as a great opportunity for teens to actually create their own performance piece, tailored specifically to the times we are living in right now.


At the beginning of our process the cast read No Exit, and also watched the pilot of the TV show The Good Place as inspiration for how the afterlife can also be pretty funny in the right hands. I would say that both shows were equally inspirational. 


I'm extremely proud of the work that these eleven performers put into this script. Collaboration is not always easy. Collaboration with ten other people on a script is incredibly difficult. At the same time we were experimenting with the technology to bring you the performance you will watch today. They did an extraordinary job, and I know you'll enjoy the show.


I feel I would be remiss if I didn't add a note about creating theater - an art that is inherently an interaction between an actor and a live audience - in a time when we are prohibited from gathering as a group. We've worked very hard at Peninsula Youth Theatre to create opportunities and experiences for young performers to keep working and building their craft. We don't know when audiences will be allowed to gather for entertainment in any way other than virtual. That makes it very hard for the actors - the thrill of theater is the response of the live audience. But although No End Meeting is not "live" in the sense it would be on a stage, this performance represents a new medium and form of theater, and that's exciting too. There will be the chance to "chat" and comment during the production. I hope you will take the opportunity to tell our author/performers what an extraordinary job they have done to create this piece in this time and give them the positive feedback they'd typically receive on stage.




-- Karen Simpson


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