Kane Repertory Theatre of St. Charles to stage ‘Venus in Fur’

Kane Repertory Theatre will present an in-person production of David Ives’ “Venus in Fur” at Side Street Studio Arts in Elgin.

The play is directed by Jeff Award winner and Goodman Theatre’s current Maggio Directing Fellow, Spenser Davis. The production premieres Feb. 4 and runs through Feb. 20, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets can be purchased here.

“Venus in Fur” will feature Heather Kae Smith and Daniil Krimer.

The plot involves Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic tale “Venus in Fur.” Into his empty audition room walks an enigmatic actress – oddly enough, named Vanda.

“David Ives’ wickedly electric two-hander has been grabbing audiences by the shirt collar ever since it first debuted on Broadway in 2011,” Davis said in a news release. “Even as someone who has by-and-large avoided theater about theater, I was immediately pulled into this play’s vortex the first time I read it, awed by the way that the power dynamic between its central characters shifted from moment to moment. While this very small show is often presented in venues as big as its thematic ideas, the Kane Rep team and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Elgin’s Side Street Studio Arts, in a space that looks like an honest-to-God audition room. We’re already discussing ways to present this show intimately, while staying safe for all audiences and artists involved, and we can’t wait for you to join us.”

Davis is a Chicago-based, Arkansas-born director and playwright. He was the 2020/21 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at the Goodman, where he served as associate director to Robert Falls on “The Sound Inside.” His honors include the 2021 B. Iden Payne Best Director Award, a 2020 Elizabeth George Commission from South Coast Rep, the 2019 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, a finalist for the Harold & Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, and three nominations for the Jeff Award for Best Director, winning once.

Earlier this season, he helmed his virtual play “The Spin” in both Chicago (Interrobang Theatre Project) and Austin, Texas (Street Corner Arts); the latter received three B. Iden Payne Awards, including Best Digital Production. Other directing credits include “Labyrinth,” “Plainclothes,” “At The Table,” “From White Plains” and “A Phase” (Broken Nose Theatre); “May the Road Rise Up,” “All Is Calm” and “Adventures of Spirit Force Five” (The Factory Theater); “Golden Girls - Lockdown!” (Hell in a Handbag); and “Blue Stockings” (Promethean Theatre), among others. His Midwest premiere of “At The Table” was named “One of the Best of the Decade” by Storefront Rebellion and “One of the Year’s Best” by the Chicago Tribune. He’s the director of programming for Broken Nose Theatre and an ensemble member of The Factory.

The production/creative team includes Avery Bowne (Production Coordinator/Graphic Design), Justin Cahill (Stage Manager), Bethany Mangum-Oles (Intimacy Director & Dialect Coach), Therese Ritchie (Scenic & Props Design), and Sarah Slagle (Costume Designer). Krimer and Bowne are Kane Repertory Theatre ensemble members.

COVID-19 policy: Masks will be required for audiences inside the theater. Patrons must be able to show proof that they are fully vaccinated by presenting a physical copy of their vaccination card, a clear photo of their full card, or a link to their pharmacy’s confirmation of vaccination or vaccination confirmation via their app. Fully vaccinated means that 14 days have passed since receiving the final dose of FDA or WHO authorized vaccines.

Kane Repertory Theatre will offer exemptions for those unable to be vaccinated, such as children younger than 5, people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination, or those with closely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. These patrons must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 36 hours before performance start time.

About Kane Repertory Theatre

Kane Repertory Theatre is a professional 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater company in St. Charles, dedicated to serving Kane County as a whole. By using visceral performance to explore values in America, Kane Rep works to spark conversation, evoke empathy, and strengthen the community, the release stated. Under the leadership of Executive Director Avery Bowne and Artistic Director Daniil Krimer, Kane Repertory Theatre strives to be one of the Midwest’s leading regional theaters through new play development, reimagining classics, and forming an ensemble of dynamic artists.


WHAT: “Venus in Fur” by Kane Repertory Company

WHERE: Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Zeigler Court, Elgin.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Feb., 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 and 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 13 and 20; contains adult content

COST: $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $15 students

INFORMATION: For tickets, go to kanerepertorytheatre.thundertix.com/events/194332, www.kanerepertorytheatre.com