Love. Seduction. Dominance. Sex.

Venus in Fur – the award winning play by David Ives – brings all of this and more to the Bootless stage next month.

Writer-director Thomas Novachek auditions actresses for his new play, an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Furs which inspired the term Masochism.  Vanda Jordan fits the role, perhaps a little too well.  As they read through the play together, Vanda shows astonishing insights into the novel and her character and the balance of power shifts as the actress establishes total dominance over the director, exactly as in the novel.  A two person cast, the show is as intimate as it is exciting.

With opening night less than a month away, we sat down with Kelly Warne to talk about their roles in the show, the rehearsal process, and their Bootless experience.

Describe your character in Venus in Fur.

“I play Vanda Jordan, a crass, obnoxious actress who barges in to  Thomas’ world begging for an audition because she insists she’s perfect for the part, while everything in her demeanor indicates she couldn’t be further from what he wants. Throughout the course of her audition and the play, she literally strips away any preconceived notions Thomas and the audience have of her.”

Talk to me about your rehearsal process for the show.  Is it different in any way from other shows you’ve worked on?

“This is the first show I’ve ever worked on where I have spent so much time rehearsing outside of designated rehearsal time. Sean and I have been getting together as much as we can to run lines and play and build that trust with each other. It’s just the two of us up there for an hour and a half, so it’s imperative that that foundation is in place so if one night someone misses a beat or is inspired to play a moment a different way, we know the other has our back and is willing to take the leap with us.”

What excites you most about this project?

“Vanda is a BEAST of a role for an actress, and I am equal parts ecstatic and terrified that I am allowed to play her. Fear is always a good indicator that you should try something, right? Unless it involves a dark alley or snakes…Plus Sean and I used to bartend together and have been friends for a few years now, so it’s been such great fun to dive into this piece with someone you already know and are comfortable with. Although my costume for this show is infinitely more revealing than my old work uniform, that’s for sure!”

Are you doing anything special to prepare for the role?

“I used to be a dominatrix, so I’m just skimming my old training materials. Kidding! I am walking around my apartment in high heels as much as possible so I don’t sprain an ankle (I come from the “comfort over style” school of fashion. I’m still trying to convince Rosanne [the director] that sweatpants would be even sexier than garters because “they’re so unexpected!”)”

Why do you think audiences will enjoy Venus in Fur?

“This play has something to appeal to everyone. It’s funny, it’s sexy, it provokes discussion if you’re into that, and if you’re not, did I mention it’s sexy?”

Venus in Fur runs March 13 through March 22.  Tickets available here: