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Thursday, October 24, 2013


                             News Release
PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |  cynthia@saltlakeactingcompany.org
October 17, 2013
For Immediate Release


“He keeps saying she’s got all this power over him. But he’s the one with the power, not her. The more he submits, the more control he’s got over her. It’s weird.”—Vanda in VENUS IN FUR

On Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:45pm Salt Lake Acting Company with support from the Utah Humanities Council will present a free panel discussion entitled, “Putting Sex and Power on the Line” in conjunction with the Regional Premiere of VENUS IN FUR by David Ives.

The panel discussion will explore themes from the Tony-nominated comedy about sex, dominance and fantasy. VENUS IN FUR is a sexy comedy about a playwright casting the female lead for his new play. The story features Vanda and her unexpected audition with Thomas in a New York City studio. During the audition, Vanda and Thomas begin to merge in and out of reality and fantasy while reading lines together. Their undeniable chemistry collides with cultural conversations about gender, power and sex.

Terry Gildea (KUER News Director) will moderate the discussion of sexuality, gender, confidence, dominance, the power of sex and sex as power. Joining Gildea will be a panel of experts from the Salt Lake community including; University of Utah Professor Elizabeth Clement, University of Utah Ph.D. Candidate Julie Taylor and MindBody Health Therapist Jake Van Epps.

The discussion points of the panel, are relevant to anyone who has questioned ideas of power and sexuality. As Dan Nailen said in SLCene, “I’m still turning the play over and over in my mind, considering its themes of power and sex from every potential angle and struggling to reach any over-arching conclusions.”

Like Dan many audience members are still pondering the themes of VENUS IN FUR long after they have returned home.

The panel will discuss how we define and negotiate power within sexual relationships and how men and women differ in identifying sex and sexuality. The following questions may be posed to the panel.
1.      How is sexuality a form of identity?
2.      How does sexual identity develop differently for men and women?
3.      What do media representations tell us about societal expectations of sex, dominance and power in relationships?
4.      How is sex used as to manipulate power in a relationship? 

The audience is encouraged to ask questions as well as provide feedback during the one hour discussion. SLAC is committed to providing a safe, honest environment for lively discussion regarding societal and individual constructs of identity, sexuality and power.

VENUS IN FUR is now extended through Sunday, November 3. The free panel discussion will take place following a matinee performance on Sunday, October 27 at 2:45. 

This program has received funding from the Utah Humanities Council (UHC). UHC offers funding to empower individuals and groups in Utah to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.

TERRY GILDEA, KUER News Director will serve as our moderator. He is originally from San Antonio where he spent four years as a reporter and host at Texas Public Radio. While at KSTX, he created, produced and hosted the station's first local talk show, The Source; he covered San Antonio's military community for the station and for NPR's Impact of War Project. Terry's features on wounded warriors, families on the home front and veterans navigating life after war have aired on Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and All Things Considered. His half-hour radio documentary exploring the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center was honored by the Houston Press and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Prior to his position in San Antonio, Terry covered Congress for two years with Capitol News Connection and Public Radio International. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Washington and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He moderated several SLAC panel discussions, most recently the December 2012 panel discussion in conjunction with MANNING UP, displaying a remarkable ability to engage both audience and panelists together, and we are thrilled to have him back for this event.

JULIE L. TAYLOR is a communication instructor at the University of Utah. Before living in Utah, Julie received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Colorado State University where she studied communication and gender studies. Her Master’s thesis focused on the discursive construction and consequences of labels for people in sex trafficking. Currently in her final year of the Ph.D. program at the U, Julie is writing her dissertation, which examines through discourse, the communicative construction of prostitution, while focusing on the consequences of silence as a process within discourse, and policy as a material element to gendered organizing. Julie also teaches Communication and Gender and Organizational Communication at the University of Utah. Her research interests of gender, gendered discourse, and organizational communication bleed into her class discussions and research projects. Often Julie is asked to speak to various classes about gendered issues. Specifically issues concerning the sex industry and masculine and feminine communicative qualities within the workplace.

ELIZABETH CLEMENT is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah specializing in history and gender studies. Her previous research projects include, “Grass-Roots Feminism” and “We Are Family,” an analysis of the philosophy, gender and sexuality of families. Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree in History at Columbia University in New York City and her Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Elizabeth wrote the book, “Love for Sale: Courting, Treating and Prostitution in New York City, 1900-1945” (University of North Carolina Press 2006).

JAKE VAN EPPS received his Bachelor’s in Psychology from Castleton State College in Vermont in 2000. After his undergraduate degree Jake completed an Outward Bound Instructor Development Practicum at the North Carolina Outward Bound School in Table Rock, NC. Combining his passion for experiential and adventure education with his degree in psychology, Jake worked as a wilderness therapy instructor for Second Nature Wilderness Program and Second Nature Blue Ridge  for a total of five years. During his time at Second Nature Blue Ridge, he was responsible for the education program and the therapeutic training of field staff. Wanting to move his career in a more therapeutic direction, Jake earned his Master’s in Guidance and Counseling from The University of Georgia in 2007. Currently Jake works at The Center for MindBody Health, a private health practice integrating medical, psychological and mindfulness based movement practices in the treatment of chronic health concerns, psychological concerns and wellness facilitation. Within his practice, Jake specializes in couples and family therapy as well as trauma-related therapy.


“Putting Sex and Power on the Line”
A Free Panel Discussion Inspired by VENUS IN FUR

Terry Gildea                                        Moderator                    KUER News Director 
Julie L. Taylor                                     Panelist                                    U of U Ph.D. Candidate
Elizabeth Clement                                Panelist                                    U of U Associate Professor
Jake Van Epps                                     Panelist                                    MindBody Health Therapist

Sunday, October 27 at 2:45 p.m.

Salt Lake Acting Company
168 W. 500 N., Salt Lake City, UT, 84103


VENUS IN FUR                                             By David Ives

Single tickets range from $15 – $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of ten or more.

SLAC Box Office
Monday through Friday
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre founded in 1970 and is dedicated to producing, commissioning and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists.  SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract. SLAC is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres, and the National New Play Network.

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