Michael Bakkensen & Nicole Rodenburg to Lead Alley Theatre's VENUS IN FUR; Cast & Creative Team Confirmed

Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for Venus in Fur. Brandon Weinbrenner, Alley Theatre Resident Assistant Director, makes his Alley Theatre directorial debut. Venus in Fur features Michael Bakkensen as Thomas, returning to the Alley Theatre after the world premiere of Ether Dome, and Nicole Rodenburg as Vanda, making her Alley Theatre debut.

Theatrical mastermind David Ives' sexy, provocative comedy was a 2012 Tony nominee. Venus in Fur is an electrifying game of cat and mouse between a young actress and a demanding playwright-director that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. Set in a rehearsal studio, Venus in Fur pits Vanda, a talented and hungry actress who is determined to win the lead role, against the controlling writer-director Thomas. In this fast-moving 90 minute play, Thomas is drawn into reading his own script with the seducing and enigmatic Vanda, producing a sizzling exploration of sexual control and attraction.

In Ives' play, the script that Thomas has written is an adaptation of "Venus in Furs," the 1870 erotic novella by Leopold Sacher-Masoch. This novella became infamous in the 19th Century when the author's last name inspired Austrian psychiatrist Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing to coin the term "masochism."

Called "a seriously smart and very funny stage seminar on the destabilizing nature of sexual desire" (New York Times), "the play is a tug of war for power between a man and a woman" (New York Daily News). "Role-playing takes on a whole new meaning" (New York Post). This "don't miss" play is described by the Wall Street Journal as "deadly serious" and "madly funny." "You won't see a funnier play this season, or a smarter one." (WSJ) Strictly Adults Only. Sexual Situations. Language.

Venus in Fur features scenic design by Takeshi Kata and costume design by Tricia Barsamian. Lighting design is by Matthew Richards with sound design by Matt Starritt, Fight Director Leraldo Alzaldúa and dialect, voice and text coach Pamela Prather.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, directed by Brandon Weinbrenner, begins performances Friday, October 11 opens officially Wednesday, October 16, and runs through November 10, 2013 on the Neuhaus Stage.

David Ives is perhaps best known for his evening of one-act plays All In The Timing, he has been included in the "Best Short Plays" series seven times, and for his drama Venus in Fur, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. His plays include New Jerusalem: The Interrogation Of Baruch De Spinoza; The School For Lies, adapted from Molière's The Misanthrope; The Liar, adapted from Corneille; Time Flies; and Is He Dead?, adapted from Mark Twain. He has also translated Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear and Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play. A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and a graduate of The Yale School of Drama, he lives in New York City.

Michael Bakkensen (Thomas) Alley Theatre credits include Ether Dome. Broadway credits include Noises Off, Festen as u/s and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Off-Broadway credits include RX at Primary Stages, Out of Iceland with Culture Project, The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath at Kirk, The Paris Letter as u/s at Roundabout, Tales of Doomed Love at West End, Waxing West at Lark and Alarms with Here. Regional credits include Jamie in Long Day's Journey into Night at Actors Theater of Louisville; The School of Night at Mark Taper Forum; the U.S. premiere of Brian Friel's The Home Place at Guthrie; All's Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare Theatre, DC; also Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, ACT in Seattle, the Alliance, Alabama and NJ Shakespeare Festivals and Hangar. Film credits include On The Slope and Memoria Mortalis (Sundance). Television credits include Elementary, Deception, The Good Wife, Royal Pains, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Guiding Light, Stage on Screen and upcoming web series Mental Issues. Education includes MFA from UCSD.

Nicole Rodenburg (Vanda) is making her Alley Theatre debut. Favorite theatre credits include Cherie in Bus Stop at Huntington Theatre with director Nicholas Martin, the World Premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's award-winning play The Whale at Denver Center for Performing Arts, as well as the World Premieres of Allison Moore's Slasher at ATL/Humana Festival and Sheri Wilner's The End at Guthrie Theater. Last fall she starred as Alice in You Can't Take It With You opposite screen legend Robert Vaughn at GEVA Theater. TV and Film credits include Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and The Girl's Guide to Depravity on Cinemax as a series regular. Training includes BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. Nicole currently studies with master teacher Michael Howard in New York City.



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