from the Footlights

November 2005                                

 No Exit


We think we have the perfect play in November for a Footlights audience — one that makes you think. But it also has some humor. Its dialogue is fast moving. It is only one act because it had to end before the German curfew began in Paris during World War II. This well crafted play is French philosopher and thinker John Paul Sartre’s No Exit.


A valet ushers into an ornate living room a man and later two women. They talk. Their conversation is interesting, then deadly. We learn in time what they have done. And what they have done are choices they made of their own free will. No excuses. Then no exit when the actions have hurt others and you are confronted with “people” who, like a mirror, reflect — forever — the damage you created.


Scena Theatre is staging No Exit in honor of the playwright’s 100th anniversary. Robert McNamara, Scena Theatre’s Artistic Director, will be our honored guest speaker in November. Jerry Stilkind will moderate our discussion.


Our meeting on Wednesday, November 16 will take place at Casa Fiesta, 4910 Wisconsin Ave, NW (202-244-8888) — one block south of Fessenden St. on Wisconsin Ave. and two and a half blocks south of the Jenifer St. exit (elevators only) from the Friendship Heights Metro stop. Casa Fiesta offers a fixed price buffet for $14 including tax and tip. Drinks and desserts are extra. Cash payment is preferred. A minimum additional $5 donation to Footlights (tax deductible) is encouraged. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. We end no later than 9:30.


You may come for the discussion only at 7:30 p.m. We’ll set up a few seats at the back of the room, or you may use any unoccupied seats at the tables.


Reservations are required. Call or e-mail Mark Gruenberg anytime for reservations, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]. If you must cancel be sure to notify Mark so that someone else can attend.


Read the play. No Exit is readily available in anthologies, libraries, or at Backstage Books (202-544-5744), 545 8th St. SE, Washington, DC (Eastern Market metro stop).


No Exit at Scena Theatre


Footlights will see No Exit at Scena Theatre at the Warehouse, 1021 7th Street, NW on Friday, November 18, at 8 p.m. The closest metro stop is Mt. Vernon Square on the yellow & green lines at 7th and M Streets — half a block north of the theater. Alternatively, on the red line, exit at Gallery Place — 4 blocks south of the theater.


We will have a cast discussion after the performance. Discounted tickets are $23. For reservations to join us, send your check to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. For questions or to check ticket availability, contact Robin at 240-669-6300 or [email protected].


Looking Ahead


Upcoming on December 15, we will discuss Spoon River Anthology — the stage adaptation (adapted and arranged by Charles Aidman), with music, of Edgar Lee Masters’ beloved collection of short dramatic poems about common people in a rural American community. John Glynn will moderate our discussion. Our guest will be director, Shane Wallis. We’ll see a production of it in early January at The American Century Theater.


Footlights kicks into 2006 on January 10 with our discussion of Fat Pig by Neil LaBute. Lead actress Kate Debelack will be our guest speaker for the discussion. Robin Larkin will moderate.


We’ll join Ushers to see Studio Theatre’s production of Fat Pig on Saturday, January 28, 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are going fast! For this event, send your check to: The Ushers, c/o Joel Markowitz, 11710 Old Georgetown Rd, Unit 1209, North Bethesda, MD 20852. To contact Joel call 703-447-8805. Ushers and Footlights members will have dinner following the cast discussion at Thai Tanic, 1236 14th St., NW — a 5 minute walk from Studio Theatre. Make dinner reservations with Joel.


Our December 15 and January 10 dinner-discussions will be held at a new restaurant for us: Thai Chef, 1712 Connecticut Ave, NW, third floor (great space!) — near the Dupont Circle Metro (great location!). Dinner is $15, and includes a spring roll, choice of one of 5 entrees, and iced tea. Cash bar is available. Tax, gratuity and use of the meeting room are included in the $15 price.

About Footlights


To get Footlights updates on-line, send any message — even blank—to [email protected]. Subscribers can post to our on-line list by sending brief messages to [email protected]. Visit our website at for updates. Address inquiries to Mark Gruenberg at 202-898-4825 or [email protected].


Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

You can also help Footlights by volunteering to assist with a myriad of tasks: help with the newsletter (editing, production), finding suitable restaurants for meetings, leading a discussion, finding speakers, suggesting plays, making group reservations for theater trips, organizing a group dinner after performances, helping members check in at meetings — for a few examples. Just ask Mark.


Footlights Family News


Footlights extends our deep sympathy to Bill O’Field on the loss of his partner.


We also wish a speedy recovery for Lou Altarescu who suffered a broken hip in a collision with another bike rider in Rock Creek Park recently.



Wednesday, November 16, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion of No Exit at Casa Fiesta.


Friday, November 18, 8 p.m., see No Exit at Scena Theatre (the Warehouse). Tickets are $23.


Thursday, December 15, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion of Spoon River Anthology at Thai Chef.


Tuesday, January 10, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion of Fat Pig at Thai Chef.


Saturday, January 28, 2 p.m., see Fat Pig at Studio Theatre. Tickets are $30. Contact Joel Markowitz, 703-447-8805 or [email protected] for tickets to this event only.


Meeting reservations:  Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]

Theater tickets:            Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 or [email protected]