Venus made its Broadway debut in 2011 where it was hailed by critics and soon became a motion picture directed by Roman Polanski. The story itself is an intense character study of chauvinism, masochism, sexism and power in which the audience will be taken on a journey because how the story ends is far away from where it began.

As the play begins we meet Thomas Novachek (Kristian Asfeldt), a struggling playwright and director who is working tirelessly to get his adaptation of Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Fur produced and off the ground. He has been holding auditions all day but has had no luck filling the lead role of Vanda. Enter Vanda Jordan (Christa Gesicki), a young actress who shares the same name as the lead character and is determined to have an audition of her lifetime. Vanda and Thomas’ story turns into an intense game of cat and mouse as they explore the script, but neither Thomas nor Vanda is really sure who is in control. As Vanda’s audition goes on longer and longer, the line of reality and fantasy is blurred while Thomas’ will is tested as his feelings toward Vanda grow and his engagement to his fiancée becomes uncertain.

David Ives is one of the most popular playwrights working today and Venus in Fur is one of his few ventures into full-length shows. This laugh-out-loud, thrilling and challenging tale will keep the audience engaged and wanting more.

Venus in Fur, which contains adult themes and content, performs Oct. 22, 23, 24 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Arena Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets -- $15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizens (62+), $10 K-12 and non-USD students, and $5 USD Students with ID -- can be purchased at the USD Theatre Box Office, calling the box office at 605-677-5400 or online.

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