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VENUS IN FUR
BY DAVID IVES
 
Quote:
 

“Vanda (as Dunayev): In our society, a woman’s only power is through men. Her character is her lack of character. She’s a blank, to be filled in my creatures who at heart despise her. I want to see what Woman will be when she ceases to be man’s slave. When she has the same rights as he, when she’s his equal in education and his partner in work. When she becomes herself. An individual.”

 

Synopsis:
 

Thomas Novachek is the writer-director of a new play opening in New York City; this play-within-the-play is an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Furs by the Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and happens to be the novel that inspired the term Masochism. The play begins with Novachek on the telephone lamenting the inadequacies of the actresses who have showed up that day to audition for the lead character, Wanda von Dunayev. Suddenly, at the last minute, a new actress, Vanda Jordan, bursts in. At first it’s hard to imagine that she will please this very particular and exasperated writer/director: She’s brash, vulgar and unschooled. But she convinces him to let her audition for the part of Wanda, with the director/writer reading the part of Severin von Kushemski. Much happens during this dynamic reading, as lightning flashes and thunder crashes outside. Vanda shows astonishing insights into the novel and her character, and she performs what is in effect a terrific audition. They both become caught up in the characters they are reading. The balance of power is reversed, and the actress establishes dominance over the director, which is similar to what occurs in the novel.

 

Venues:
 

Creekside Theatre, Lake Country

Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon

Sagebrush Theatre, Kamloops

 

Awards:
 

2013 Theatre BC Mainstage Festival:

Best Set Design: Bill Haidei

Adjudicators Merit Award for Outstanding First Impression and Production Contribution to Mainstage

 

2013 Theatre BC Okanagan Zone Theatre Festival:

Best Production: Venus in Fur, Fred Skeleton Theatre Company

Best Actress: Dorothy Dalba

Best Lighting: Vanessa Lomas

Best Newcomer: Shannon Mason-Brown