Venus, by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Lear deBessonet


Check out the final shows in Suzan-Lori Parks' Residency One: The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A & In The Blood.

Traveling from her home in southern Africa for what she hoped would be a better life, Saartjie Baartman became an unfortunate star on the 19th Century London freak show circuit. This Obie Award-winning play gives vibrant life to the story of Baartman’s journey to London, her rise to fame as the “Hottentot Venus,” and her eventual relationship with a French scientist. Inspired by the true story of Baartman, Venus is a tragic-carnival, an intense and devastating journey honoring the life of Baartman and examining the way we live and love today.

"Devastating! Has lost none of its power to upset and appall."
- Sandy MacDonald, Time Out New York
"Vivid and visually striking! Resilience, humor and love run through the show."
- Elisabeth Vincentelli, Newsday

Pictured above: Zainab Jah in Venus by Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Joan Marcus.
April 25 - June 4, 2017
Running Time
2 hours 15 minutes, with one intermission
Please note: this production contains simulated nudity.


Hannah Cabell

John Ellison Conlee

Randy Danson

Adam Green

Birgit Huppuch

Zainab Jah

Kevin Mambo

Patrena Murray

Reynaldo Piniella

Julian Rozzell

Tony Torn


Scenic Design
Matt Saunders
Costume Design
Emilio Sosa
Lighting Design
Justin Townsend
Sound Design & Original Music
Brandon Wolcott
Danny Mefford
Wig, Hair and Make-up Design
J. Jared Janas
Fight Director
Thomas Schall
Production Stage Manager
Evangeline Whitlock

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