VENUS IN FUR
American Laboratory Theatre takes David Ives'
'Venus in Fur'
to new beguiling levels in an intimate, sold-out reading at the beautiful and historic
Outskirts Gallery - Hope Marketplace
March 28, 29 & April 3 & 4, 2015
Directed by Jesús Quintero
Produced by Julie Berreth
Starring Carolina Sa
Quintero, Sa Break New Ground in Venus in Fur
By Cameron Rasmusson
March 26, 2015
Chances are good you know married couple Jesús Quintero and Carolina Sa. Chances are also good you’ve never seen them like you will in “Venus in Fur,” Quintero’s latest stage production.
A two-person play written by famed playwright David Ives, “Venus in Fur” centers on Thomas Novacheck, a New York City writer-director of a new play, and Vanda Jordan, a fiery actress who reads for a part in the production. Utilizing the play-within-a-play structure favored by writers all the way back to Shakespeare, the play explores the intersection between reality and fiction and shifting the balances of power between the two characters.
For Quintero and Sa, the play represents somewhat new territory, even if this isn’t their first time working together on a production. In fact, the two met in Miami when Quintero directed Sa in a play.
“We established our relationship first professionally, and then personally,” said Sa.
On the other hand, this is the first time they’ll be working together since moving to Sandpoint. And it’s a hell of a first project, a bewitching, twisting production that puts a new flavor on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play. For Sa, the project is something of a love letter to the
“community, and she and Quintero are putting their money where their mouth is. Proceeds from the play will benefit the Eureka Institute, a local charitable organization.
"I want to reciprocate the care this community has shown us,” Sa said.
‘Venus in Fur’ will be performed 8pm, March 27 and 28 and April 3 and 4 at Hope Marketplace, 620 Wellington Place, Hope, Idaho. Viewer discretion is advised – content is recommended for 18 years of age or older. Tickets are $15 and available at Eve’s Leaves or www.americanlabtheatre.com.
Jesús Quintero Dreams of Sandpoint
The Challenge of Nurturing Local Theater
By Cameron Rasmusson
February 19, 2015
Jesús Quintero mills around his kitchen, chopping chicken in preparation for an imminent lunch meeting. He’s got a busy day ahead of him, and no wonder. As a husband, father, new home owner, his responsibilities are stacking up.
It’s not just his family that’s relying on him, either. His influence as an actor, director and drama teacher is felt at Monarch School in Heron, Montana, the Sandpoint Waldorf School and his own production company, American Laboratory Theatre. As Quintero sweeps his lunch ingredients into a cooking pot, however, he notes he’s just one actor in a greater, grander scene. Much like the meal he’s cooking up, theater is by definition a fusion of many ingredients, each with its own flavor, texture and influence. And Sandpoint has everything it needs to make a feast worth remembering, he said.
“We should be humble and know we can share this space,” Quintero said. “I dream of a Sandpoint full of all kinds of theater – international, national and local.”
Now invested in Sandpoint life with his own home and plenty of connections, Quintero is becoming a leader with the theater community. The Colombian-born actor and director is planning an upcoming meeting among playwrights, directors, actors and venue managers that could redefine the way theater operates within town. He hopes to see greater collaboration among local theater companies, particularly when it comes to their relationship with local venues.
“I think we could be more efficient in that regard,” he said.
According to Quintero, Sandpoint boasts a rich soil to grow local theater. Production budgets may be tight, but they’re also a minor element in inspiring a love of the performing arts. What’s far more critical is commitment – commitment from actors to refine their roles, commitment from a production team to meet their deadlines and commitment from a community to support the arts when it’s time to raise the curtain.
Just as important are local leaders who make their knowledge available to everyone. Quintero sees himself taking an expanded place in that landscape this year. In a sense, he’s completed the transition from student to teacher. The feeling is humbling he said.
“I’m going to be 41 this year,” he said. “My life has reached the point where I can say I don’t have anyone I can follow anymore.”
That sense of leadership is partially what brought the Quintero family to the Northwest, but it wasn’t the only consideration. The family fell in love with the North Idaho-Northwest Montana area after a stretch in the comparably unfriendly Miami. Quintero and his wife, Carolina Sa, made the move to the region several years ago, originally settling in Heron, Mont., to direct theater at the Monarch School. The move from the sticky humidity of Florida to the blankets of Montana snow was quite the transition for the family, but one they were happy to undertake.
The couple brought with them an extensive background in theater. Trained as an actor in the prestigious Teatro libre of Bogota, Colombia, Quintero’s theatrical touch is felt in productions and educational programs all around the country. In fact, he met Sa, a trained actress herself, while directing her in a Miami production. They apparently got along just as well personally as they did professionally, because they soon married.
The most immediate project for the Quinteros is a production of “Venus in Fur,” set for 8pm March 27 and 28 and April 3 and 4 at the Outskirts Gallery – Hope Marketplace. Directed by Quintero and starring both him and Sa, the David-Ives-penned play explores the balance of power between a writer-director and his actress. An intimate two-person production, “Venus in Fur” will be the first time Sa takes to the stage since moving to Sandpoint.
“I really want to reciprocate the care this town has shown us,” she said.
The production is a first step toward a bigger dream for Quintero. He’s seen, for instance, how Ashland, Oregon grew the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from a tiny operation to a renowned seasonal event through sheer force of community will.
Quintero sees those qualities in Sandpoint. And he’s eager to transfer his vision from dream to reality in the years to come.
“This moment in time is a little chaotic, but it’s leading to something great,” he said.