Thomas Novachek, a director/playwright, has suffered through a long day of abysmal auditions for his adaptation of the German sadomasochistic novel Venus in Furs, until Vanda, a crass and pushy actress, stumbles into his audition room. While Vanda shares the lead character’s name, she lacks her sophistication. However, when Thomas agrees to let Vanda read for the role, she displays a surprising understanding of the material. Working through the script with Thomas playing the masochistic male lead, the roleplay becomes intense, erotic, and less like acting. David Ives’ mesmerizing play explores themes of submission, domination, and power with a fast-paced, mutable language he is known for. Reality and pretend become blurred lines in Venus in Fur, and the question of “who’s on top” always has a different answer.
Venus in Fur guide sections