Elliott Bay's Drama Book Group, Stages, meets once a month to read, enjoy and discuss great plays and dramatic works, contemporary and classic, from the U.S. and around the world. In David Ives's seductive, darkly funny Venus in Fur, a playwright-director, Thomas, has written an adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's classic erotic novel Venus in Fur, the story of an obsessive relationship between a man and the mistress to whom he becomes enslaved. At the end of a long day in which the actress Thomas auditions fail to impress him, in walks Vanda, very late and seemingly clueless, but she convinces him to give her a chance. As they perform scenes from Thomas's play, the lines between writer, actor, director, and character begin to blur. An unsettling drama, a playful comedy, Venus in Fur also constitutes a masterful exploration of the art of acting—onstage and off.