'Sex With Strangers' And How Actors Make That Heat

 Chris Ghaffari, Jessica Love star in "Sex with Strangers" at the Westport Country Playhouse. Photo by Frank Rizzo. 

Chris Ghaffari, Jessica Love star in "Sex with Strangers" at the Westport Country Playhouse. Photo by Frank Rizzo. 

Portraying passion on stage — whether it’s a steamy romance or just hot-and-heavy sex — has been a theatrical staple from the Greeks to the Bard to contemporary work where making love can be oh-so-realistic.

So how do actors — especially those who don’t know each other— make the love connection believable? In other words, how do they have sex with strangerThat’s the question I posed to Chris Ghaffari and Jessica Love, who star in the fittingly named “Sex with Strangers,” Laura Eason’s two-actor play at the Westport Country Playhouse Sept. 26 to Oct. 14.

Greenwich native Ghaffari is no stranger to the Westport theater or to nudity on stage for that matter, having played the frisky bellboy in Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw” last year, dashing about for laughs au natural. When he was in his final semester at the Yale School of Drama last year ago, his passion was more noble and discreetly staged, playing Romeo in the Shakespearean tale of star-crossed lovers at Hartford Stage.

 Chris Ghaffari and Robert Stanton in "What the Butler Saw" at Westport Country Playhouse last year.

Chris Ghaffari and Robert Stanton in "What the Butler Saw" at Westport Country Playhouse last year.

Love, a Juilliard trained actor, last year played a hen in love with a mastiff in “The Moors” at Yale Repertory Theatre.

In “Sex with Strangers,” Ghaffari plays a millennial blogger who writes about his no-strings sexual encounters. Love plays a slightly older woman, a writer who’s idea of sex is more emotionally committed. Talking to both actors during a break in rehearsals about the play brought up the challenges on making the love/sex/passion connection on stage.

Following is an edited version of that conversation.

You did not audition opposite each other so what did you think when you learned who also has been cast?

Jessica Love: You do a quick Google search to be sure you’re not sexually repulsed by the other person.

|CONTINUED|

 Love, Ghaffari in rehearsal for "Sex with Strangers" Photo by Johnathon Henninger / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Love, Ghaffari in rehearsal for "Sex with Strangers" Photo by Johnathon Henninger / For Hearst Connecticut Media