The Hippodrome Theatre rings in the new year with a Tony Award-winning production titled “Venus in Fur.”
The show stars University of Florida assistant theater professor Tim Altmeyer as Thomas, a demanding stage director in an “emotionally charged audition” with Vanda. Vanda is played by Lauren Nordvig, one of Altmeyer’s former students.
The 90-minute show, inspired by the 19th century German novel of the same title, centers around Vanda auditioning for a play directed by Thomas. During the audition, Vanda gains power over the director in this comedic, suspenseful production acted entirely by Altmeyer and Nordvig on one set.
“I’ve directed some, but I’ve certainly been an actor most of my adult life,” Altmeyer said. “I’ve been in Vanda’s position … so I’m using my experience and observations of directors.”
Altmeyer said having only two actors in the play is different from most. He attributes the size of the play to the economics of theater.
“Playwrights are creating pieces that are more manageable for regional theaters, requiring less people and less resources,” he said.
With adults as the target audience, Altmeyer described the play as “good, kinky fun.”
Working with a former student also lent its difficulties at first.
“It was kind of weird initially,” he said. “It’s the nature of the play. You don’t usually hear the words ‘student’ and ‘kinky’ in the same sentence.”
This will be the second time the Southeast has performed “Venus in Fur.” The show ran in New York last year.
Dana Edwards edited this story online.