Inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's semi-autobiographical 1870 novella Venus im Pelz (Venus in Furs), which classically but the Masochism in Sadism & Masochism, David Ives' script updates the story to a modern setting. In his play, playwright and director Thomas is auditioning women for the role of Wanda von Dunajew in his theatrical adaptation of the novella. Lamenting how stupid, needy, unrefined, desperate, and weakly compliant the 35 actresses he saw are, Thomas is ready to call it quits for the day. Thunder crashes and the frantic Vanda bursts into the audition room. She pleads for a chance to read for him, despite being late. Thomas gives in to the woman, seemingly an embodiment of every trait he just railed against, and Vanda gives the audition of a lifetime.