The Roosevelt Players to put on hell of play

Schlinski’s ‘No Exit’ at RPS Sept. 11-12


For nearly half a century, Margaret Schlinski has given

The Roosevelt Players (clockwise from top) Bob Clark, Peter Foos, Evelyn Schlinski, and Jennifer Kohlhepp will perform in Margaret Schlinski's production of "No Exit" Sept. 11-12 at the Roosevelt Public School. The Roosevelt Players (clockwise from top) Bob Clark, Peter Foos, Evelyn Schlinski, and Jennifer Kohlhepp will perform in Margaret Schlinski’s production of “No Exit” Sept. 11-12 at the Roosevelt Public School. Roosevelt residents high-quality theatrical productions in their hometown.

Schlinski moved to Roosevelt at the age of 17, and started directing plays starring the Roosevelt Players when she was 21. Forty-five years later, she is as active and enthusiastic as ever.

Her latest effort, a production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 existentialist play “No Exit,” will be performed at 8 p.m. Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 in the Roosevelt Public School.

The cast features Rooseveltians Bob Clark as the valet; Jennifer Kohlhepp, as Estelle Rigault; and Schlinski’s daughter Evelyn, as Inez Serrano. Robbinsville’s Peter Foos stars as Joseph Garcin, The play, in which the three main characters torture each other with probing questions about the past while in hell, is the source of one of Sartre’s most famous quotes — “Hell is other people.”

The success of Schlinski’s productions depends largely on contributions made by community members, many of whom are professional artists, she said.

“The sets, costumes, lighting, makeup — we have professionals who do this for a living,” she said.

Schlinski added that she doesn’t audition for her annual productions, but goes through an “organic process” to fill roles. She said ideas circulate, and plays and players are chosen.

Over the years, Schlinski has staged such works as Bruce Jay Friedman’s “Scuba Duba,” Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp,” Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” and Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milkwood.” Her version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” took place at the edge of the wood in a Roosevelt backyard. An evening of Kurt Weill’s music sounded out from the loading dock of the Roosevelt factory. She also directed a series of one-act plays written by Anton Chekhov, Woody Allen and other authors.

Schlinski already has her next production in mind. Titled “Shakespeare in Death,” the play will feature famous death scenes penned by the Bard. She imagines a table of weapons from which the players will choose their particular end. Planning for September 2010, Schlinski said anyone interested in performing their favorite Shakespearean death scene should contact her at 609-647-3799.