Olivia Wimberly appears in Weathervane Playhouse’s production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons),” a tale of seduction and decadent morality amongst the wealthy aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France, which opens Thursday, May 3.
As the saying goes, all is fair in love and war. Well, what happens when love is war?
This is just one of the many themes we, the cast of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” present in this alluring piece of theatre. Seduction, in all its forms, is woven into the play outlining the intricate “game” the characters have chosen to commit themselves to.
And this game breeds consequences of life and death. The experience rehearsing this play has been an incredibly rewarding one. We have been working together for a full three months, enveloping ourselves in pre-revolutionary France and everything the bourgeois of the time were afforded.
We have been sitting with the characters our director — the innumerably talented Craig Joseph — has entrusted to us.
I have the honor of playing La Presidente De Tourvel, also referred to as Madame de Tourvel. She is a modest, caring woman wrapped up in the pursuit of reforming the ever-licentious Monsieur Le Vicomte de Valmont, who in turn is attempting to seduce her — as well as two other women.
I can’t speak for the rest of the cast, but this language-driven play has been one of the most difficult, and most enriching, experiences I’ve had in theatre. The characters use words like swords in battle, like tantalizing treats, or like bait in a lethal trap.
To execute these intentions properly, every word must be en pointe — its meaning flavored with the emotions and motivations of each character, while being delivered verbatim. The work to keep the text infused with the energy it deserves can be a labor of love, but when we nail it the play comes to life.
When in rehearsal, I am constantly watching my fellow actors breathing new life into each scene, laughing at the jokes I hear at every rehearsal, tearing up at the poignantly passionate interchanges, exhilarated by each coy allurement.
The show’s titillating look at power and love — and all of the shrapnel the battle between the two can produce — its dazzling use of language, and the portrayals of each character beauteously performed by my fellow actors make for a show that should not be missed. Come see what Voltaire meant when he said, “It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.”
The show will take place in the Founders Theater May 3 through 20. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 t0 $22 and may be ordered by calling the box office at (330) 836-2626 or going to www.weathervaneplayhouse.com. Weathervane Playhouse is located at 1301 Weathervane Lane. “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” contains adult themes and is therefore not suitable for young children.