BWW Interviews: Director Jennifer Graham is Excited about VENUS IN FUR at Performance Network Theatre
Venus in Fur is the next show up in Performance Network Theatre's current season and director Jennifer Graham is excited for the public to see the show and the talented actors in it.
"Maggie Meyer and Sebastian Gerstner are Vanda and Thomas and both have wonderful qualities that they bring to the characters," she said. "Maggie has a wonderful way of making every choice on stage very honest and very real. When she's onstage, you believe her; you believe she is that woman. Same with Sebastian. He also has this warmth to him that he lends to the character."
Venus in Fur is an analysis of the psychological side of sadomasochism by David Ives. "It's a difficult play to describe because the initial setting is that it's a play about an old s&m novel, which of course sounds very sensuous, but there's a lot more levels," explains Graham. "It's a play within a play. It goes back and forth between the 1870 setting of a play and a contemporary world of an audition. It's about two people, who through interesting circumstances, meet each other and ignite each other in some way."
Graham studied physical theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts and currently is a full time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University in the theatre department. She has had a relationship with Performance Network Theatre for over a decade working on productions and assisting directing, but was really excited to have the chance to direct. "One thing I try to do as a director is to create a physical environment," she said. "So besides the technical acting and beautiful words that David Ives has provided, I hope that there is something that spatially happens for the audience and that they are moved from the very charged and intense atmosphere from going into this."
When asked why someone should come out and see Venus in Fur, Graham replied, "one of the great things about this show is it is a complete mix of genre, so it has something for everybody. There's comedy. There's melodrama. There's romance. There's titillation. I think that especially if you are going with a couple, you'll both enjoy it and it's hard to please everybody. This show really has something for everyone."
Venus in Fur opens Friday, March 7th and runs through April 6th at Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor. For more information and tickets, visit www.performancenetwork.org.
**Please note Venus In Fur is for mature audiences only**