Last weekend for Venus

Venus In Fur

by David Ives

Main Stage Production

Opens 10/17/2014 – 10/26/2014

Get ready for a wild night of theater.  Always willing to take a risk, the Acting Ensemble Stage Company announces its next Mainstage production, “Venus in Fur” by David Ives.  “Venus” opens Friday, October 17 and runs Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 26.  Performances are at 2:00pm on Sundays and 7:30pm on other dates and happen at Studio 217, 217 S. Michigan in South Bend (the old Robertson’s building).


Nominated for the Tony award in 2012, “Venus in Fur” premiered to acclaim in early 2010 in a production off-Broadway. It then transferred to a celebrated Broadway run in 2011-2012 and is on the list of top 10 most produced plays in American theater for both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

The play was inspired by an 1870 erotic novel, Venus in Furs, written by Leopold Sacher-Masoch, which later became infamous when the author’s last name was used to coin the phrase “sado-masochism”.   It is a steamy, intellectual, dark comic thriller that begins innocently enough.  Adapter/Director Thomas has been unable to find the right actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the novel.  In walks Vanda, who seems all wrong for the part—that is, until she begins to read.  The ensuing teeter-totter of wills, twisting plot and characters creates a fast-paced journey through something dark, strange and delicious.

“It’s very entertaining—it begins as a comedy” says director Melissa Gard.  “And then—who can say exactly when – you find yourself drawn into this fascinating relationship, and the lines begin to blur between the actors and the characters they play, seduction and power, and fantasy and reality . And nothing in the story is as it appears in the beginning.”   Gard oversees veteran actors Scot Shepley and Christy Burgess.  “They are so accomplished, so dedicated to what they are doing; it’s exciting to come in every night and see what they’ve come up with next.  This is a story about power, about gender, but at its core, it’s a love story.  An entertaining, kinky love story”.

“Ninety minutes of good, kinky fun (where) the upper hand does not necessarily  belong to the usual suspect.” – NY Times

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