Edgy play hits stage

NANAIMO - Western Edge Theatre present Venus in Fur at the Nanaimo Harbour City Theatre starting Friday (Jan. 22).

Tarah Sullivan, who plays Vanda Jordan, rehearses a scene for Western Edge Theatre’s Venus in Fur with Jeff James Monson, who plays Thomas Novachek.

Tarah Sullivan, who plays Vanda Jordan, rehearses a scene for Western Edge Theatre’s Venus in Fur with Jeff James Monson, who plays Thomas Novachek.

The dynamic of power, submission and domination, between men and women is explored in Western Edge Theatre’s upcoming play Venus in Fur.

The play, written by David Ives, raises questions about people’s view points.

“The entire play is a power play. It’s feminist, highly intelligent, extremely sexy and [there are] very interesting observations between men and women and the power struggles we are in,” said Catterson.

It is a two-person play, featuring writer-director Thomas Novachek, played by Jeff James Monson, who is looking to cast a lead actress for his adaptation of a classic sadomasochism novel. He’s frustrated. He can’t find an actress and that’s when Vanda Jordan, played by actress Tarah Sullivan, walks in.

“She acts over the top, kind of crude, and totally manages to offend him in the first couple of pages,” said Catterson.

In the original version of the play Thomas’s character isn’t as fleshed out. Catterson expanded the role.

“I wanted them to be on equal footing,” said Catterson. “I was really interested in his psychology and what makes him tick.”

Monson said he can relate to some aspects of Thomas because they are both writers and directors and have felt heartbreak.

Vanda questions his play and says it’s sexist and depicts women in a bad light. Yet, Thomas “stands his ground” and remains “resistant to her opinion,” said Monson.

Sullivan said the play is quite controversial.

“Men will hopefully question some of the feelings about women and how they view and treat women,” said Sullivan. “There is a message but how you interpret that is up to you.”

Venus in Fur shows Friday (Jan. 22) and Saturday (Jan. 23) and Jan. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. with a matinee Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. at the Harbour City Theatre. Tickets are $23 for adults, $19 seniors and $12 for students available at http://westernedge.org, at Catwalk Fashions or by calling 250-816-6459.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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