NO EXIT: Beyond Camera
The Cooper Union, 2009
In the un-paid socio-experiment reenactment, No Exit: Beyond Camera, Micaela Carolan combines acting techniques developed by Augusto Boal with the controlled format of an experimental study to amplify Sartre's views of the ontological struggle to see oneself as an object from the view of another's consciousness.
Carolan vetted craigslist strangers with a series of personality tests to assemble a cast of players whose traits mirrored the original characters in Sartre's 1944 play, No Exit. The chosen four were instructed to wave their rights, skim the script, memorize the final line, and arrive for a rehearsal the following week in a Brooklyn portraiture studio.
Unbeknownst to the willing, the first meeting was the final act. The performers were left to communicate with each other via stage cue innuendos and were not allowed to leave frame until the final line was delivered. As the experiment progressed, Carolan taunted the players by offering them one minute speed reads, a rushed lunch, and occasionally opening the door.
The actors were later invited to a revealing only to be asked once again to put on a costume and reenact their improvisation, this time in front of projected documentation and live audience.
Set: Justin Smith
Props: Avery Singer
Documentation: Javier Bosques
Sound: Prudece Katz