les liaisons dangereuses

by christopher hampton

theoretical scenic design 
virgina stages, 2012


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Every day we practice the art of psychological detachment, not only from the world around us, but also from ourselves. We use this as a way to cop with our actions and to give ourselves excuses to behave in a repugnant, distasteful manner. This is exemplified in the world of Les Liaisons Dangereuses as the aristocratic protagonists corrupt a young innocent as a means of revenge, and drive a loving wife to adultery and death.

It is with this theme in mind that I approached the scenic environment for our production. I was struck by the level of detail and opulence in Rocco Architecture. Furthermore, it seemed to visually represent the institutionalized materialism and self-indulgence that seeps from these characters. With this in mind I chose to take away the simple elements of the real world architecture of the Rocco movement, leaving behind only the ornate decorative elements. By doing this I was able to sculpt an artificial world of detached emotion in which no one should be trusted.

*first place gradaute sceinc desgn award- setc 2012