The darker side of love will be shown in Seoul from Friday with “Venus in Furs.”
Adapted from the novella of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who eventually inspired the term “masochism,” the play, staged by Crushed Goblet, follows two people exploring the book.
The characters discuss the book, taking on various roles both dominating and diminutive.
|Chris Norman as The Men and Stephanie Ann Foster as The Women in “Venus in Furs.” (Chris Backe)|
“It begins in the modern day and carries you back and forth to other times. I think it departs in some very interesting ways,” said Stephanie Ann Foster, who plays the female role in the play.
“The biggest ones come in terms of gender identity and gender roles and how we choose to take them on or reject them in their personal lives.”
The result touches on the war of the sexes, with characters very conscious of gender roles, and at odds over who is responsible for the status quo.
“There’s a lot of argument about who the villain is,” said Foster.
“One of them is convinced that there is no villain, and the other is convinced that the woman is being pushed into the woman’s role; that she is being blamed.”
Part of Foster’s role is playing Venus, the goddess of love. This brought up issues about standards of beauty and ideal body image for the actress.
“She is supposed to be a goddess, and idealized goddess, but I thought it was a good role to explore,” she said.
“I think every woman struggles with body image and I certainly struggle with mine. So for me this is a way to embrace the body I was given, one that in one point in history would have been considered attractive or desirable, and it’s fun to step into that role.”
Foster said she usually played cute characters, so this role was something new.
“I think this shows a new kind of vulnerability that is backed by strength and sexuality and that’s something I’m eager to explore,” she said.
“I’m excited and nervous because opening is such a short way away. But I love putting on those boots.”
Performances are at Camarata Studio in Haebangchon on March 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16 at 8 p.m. To get to the venue, leave Noksapyeong Station Exit 2, walk straight for about 500 meters and fork left into Haebangchon. Camarata is on the left, across the street from Jacoby burger.
Tickets are 15,000 won and can be reserved via email@example.com or 010-2897-7207.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org