King Berenger the First doesn’t want to die, but the audience knows from the beginning of “Exit the King,” a play by Eugene Ionesco, that only with the king’s last breath will the curtain fall. Or, in the HC production, opening May 3, when the king disappears behind the curtain into the dark and smoky backstage. The opening line, said by the first wife of the king, is “you’re going to die at the end of the show.”
George White, director and chair of the theater department, first saw the script for the play during his own college years. White decided he wanted to direct the play last year after rereading it. Although the themes of the play fit with retirement, White chose “Exit the King” before he had committed to retiring with his wife, Joy White, teacher at Hastings Middle School, at the end of this year.
“And hopefully it will resonate as well with the younger people as it does with me,” George White said.
The play opens at 8 p.m. May 3, and runs through May 6. The box office opens Thursday, April 26.