A four-week mainstage production

he recent production of “No Exit” in the Casella Theater. Cast members Ilan Berman, top, Vidur Katyal, left, Sarah Serrano, center, and Carissa Challinor (right).

The Fine Arts Center was packed on Sept. 14 for the opening night of the first play of the semester entitled “No Exit.” 

The play follows the turmoil of three unfortunate souls locked in a room together after all having passed away awaiting their torture. 

Come to find out, Hell is basically dealing with other people these characters realize.

“This was only a four-week rehearsal play, which isn’t considered a lot of time to practice in the theater world. It’s usually six weeks,” said Marisa Valent-Altland, director of the play. “But the feedback we received was great.”

The play is a one-act philosophical drama set in one room. The whole premise revolves around Garcin, (played by Vidur Katyal) Inez, (played by Carissa Challinor), and Estelle (played by Sarah Serrano) and the slow realization that they have all died and are now in Hell awaiting their torture. They soon realize that the torture is the people around them and that they are going to be stuck in a locked room for eternity. 

The tension continues to build up throughout the play as each character slowly reveals what they had done to end up in Hell to begin with. 

The audience continues to be engaged when the forever locked door suddenly blows open, leaving gasps of shock from the audience, waiting to see if any character is willing to go through the door. 

Challinor, who has been acting at Castleton for two years and who played Inez, recalls performing and rehearsing for the play as a fun experience. 

“Acting-wise, it’s really fun, especially with all the talented people here,” she said. “Overall, I think the play went really well.” 

 Valent-Altland praised the cast members and those behind the scenes. 

“Everybody involved worked really hard to make this possible. The actors practiced five nights a week leading up to the event. To prepare for it, I took a deep dive into the script itself and we had the actors sign an agreement that over the summer they would have at least half of the script memorized by August,” she said. 

The hard work paid off in the end. The theater was practically filled on opening night alone and audience members had nothing but praise to say about the play. 

“The acting was electric,” said Pajua Gamba, a freshman at Vermont State University. “I definitely would come back to see another show. I’m excited to see more.” 

Adam Billodeau, another freshman at Vermont State agreed.

“Honestly, it was way better than I thought it was going to be. It was really engaging to watch,” he said.

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