Venus in Fur

E-book – $15.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-6799-5

Trade Paper – $15.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-2822-4
Publication Date
November 2011
Page Count
84 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Venus in Fur

A Play

A young playwright, Thomas, has written an adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel Venus in Furs, the story of an obsessive adulterous relationship between a man and the mistress to whom he becomes enslaved. At the end of a long day in which the actresses he has auditioned fail to impress him, in walks Vanda, very late and seemingly clueless, and she convinces Thomas to give her a chance. As they perform scenes from Thomas’s play, the lines between writer, actor, director, and character begin to blur. An exploration of gender roles and sexuality, Venus in Fur is also a witty, twisting, unsettling look at the art of acting – onstage and off.

About the Author

David Ives’s plays include two evenings of one-act comedies, All in the Timing (win­ner of the Outer Critics Circle Award) and Time Flies, as well as New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza; Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas; Polish Joke; and Ancient History. He has also adapted Cor­neille’s The Liar, Molière’s The School for Lies, and Regnard’s Le Légataire universel.


“Wildly intelligent and sometimes frightening.”

—Hilton Als, New Yorker 

“Nifty, skillfully wrought entertainment, an enjoyable game of kitten-with-a-whip and mouse.”

—Charles Isherwood, New York Times 

“David Ives . . . has grown into a playwright of considerable consequence—which doesn’t mean that he’s lost his sense of humor. Venus in Fur . . . actually feels a bit like one of Mr. Ives’s one-act plays writ large, though it cuts much deeper, both intellectually and emotionally.”

—Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal