CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – When the Greeley Theater Company performs “Les Laisons Dangereuses,” or "Dangerous Liaisons," it promises to be unlike any other high school production you have ever seen and "probably will never see in high school again."
“'Les Laisons Dangereuses' is about how the complications in relationships and sexual desires can harm or help one’s standing in society in France, pre-French Revolution,” said Greeley sophomore Arielle Smith, who plays La Presidente de Tourvel.
In addition to its heavy focus on adult themes, the play's setting and costumes are unmatched.
“The first thing people are going to notice is how absolutely beautiful the set it. Everything looks incredible,” said Greeley senior Patrick Moore, who plays the lead of Le Vicomte de Valmont.
Moore has been in five Greeley Theater Company shows but said this one tops them all.
“I’ve never been in anything this big,” he said. “The material is pretty adult for high school, and my character deals with things that I’ve never personally dealt with, so I had to do my homework. It’s probably a show you’ll never in high school again.”
Although the production is a period piece, it deals with themes that transcend time — and age, Director Christopher Schraufnagel said.
“So much of this stuff is high school. The compelling thing about the play is that you can set it anywhere. It’s very universal,” said Schraufnagel, who has been directing Greeley Theater productions for 10 years.
“Everyone knows these characters one way or another, whether you identify with them yourself or associate them to people you know. The capability to be any of these characters exists in each and every one of us.”
No better example of that is Greeley senior Harris Pollack, who plays the important role of Azolan. For Pollack, who is also a varsity soccer player, "Les Laisons Dangereuses" will be his first play ever.
“Soccer season ended, and I figured it was a good time to step out of my comfort zone,” he said. “Acting is not what I thought it would be. The amount of work required has given me a great appreciation for it.”
Casting Pollack had nothing to do with his experience, Schraufnagel said.
“His personality for the role is perfect. He’s such a goofy kid and the character of Azolan is an uncultured goofy kid, so it was a great fit,” he said.
Schraufnagel is confident that although the show deals with risqué aspects, it will be performed in an appropriate PG-13 manner.
“This is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I’ve been waiting for the right time to do it,” he said. “What determines the right time to do it is having the right cast, and this year I have it.”
Showtimes for "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" include at 7:30 p.m. March 7, at 8 p.m. March 8 and at 8 p.m. March 9 in Horace Greeley High School’s auditorium. Tickets, which are $10, can be purchased online here.