“Hell is other people.”
I returned to The Pearl Theatre Company on the far West side of Manhattan last Sunday, after a full day of Richard III rehearsal with the Queens Players in Astoria, to shoot Pearl’s production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit. I was excited to see the play, as I think every theatre student has read it during the course of their education, but I don’t recall it being produced often. This production is directed by an old theatre friend, Linda Ames Key, who with her talented cast have created a tight and engaging production. While the characters may be damned to an eternity in Hell, the audience is left wanting more!
The Pearl once again provided a gorgeous set — this time the interminable hotel room for the three damned souls doomed to be the others’ torturers for all eternity. It felt a bit like a W Hotel… furniture more for style than purpose, ostentatious art that looms, yet adds nothing. But enough about my business travel prejudices.
Shooting the show was a pleasure — as, in Sartre’s Hell, there is no escape via sleep or night, lighting was almost constant and fairly bright. I was able to keep my ISO down at 3200 and still had the ability to do most of my shooting in the f/4 to f/5.6 range, which gave me a little more leeway in terms of depth of field. Linda and the cast created so many distinct and dynamic stage pictures, I was just trying to keep up with them and capture them all!
Next up, I’m going to shoot some of my Richard III for the Queens Players (the blessing of being dead for most of act 2) and then Nylon Fusion’s two shows in rep, John Patrick Shanley’s The Big Funk and Don Nigro’s A Snowfall in Berlin.