France, before the revolution. Two decadent, aristocratic ex-lovers conspire in drawing rooms and boudoirs, swooping down on the innocent and naïve, and playfully keeping score of their depravity with delicious ribald wit. Lee Mikeska Gardner helmed the play in Washington DC with an all-male cast. Bringing that concept to The Nora, notions of gender politics are skewed with the sexual, amoral, manipulative game envisioned through new eyes. Money, mayhem and men – see why Gardner’s production was hailed as “Gutsy… groundbreaking theater” by DCist.
Content Warning: Full nudity, sexual content, violence, and a damn good sword fight. Suggested age: 18 and over.
Lee Mikeska Gardner introduces Les Liaisons Dangereuses
The Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company and Director of Les Liaisons Dangereuses shares her thoughts and intentions on why she chose an all male cast.
‘A play about women navigating a man’s world is an old story. A play in which men are required to speak in women’s voices, live a woman’s life, love and engage in sex, grapple with consent as a woman, navigate an unequivocal male world as a woman – that’s a Nora play.’
Combatting the “Male Gaze”
In the program notes, Cecilia Burke discusses the “male gaze” in the context of The Nora Theatre Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
‘In her 1999 essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” published over 200 years after the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Laura Mulvey conveyed her view that art was being made solely for and through the eyes of heterosexual males. She posited that art looked at women, instead of endowing them with their own perspective or voice, and she called this concept the “male gaze.”’
- Christopher Hampton playwright
- Lee Mikeska Gardner director