March 22 to April 13, 2019
Studio Theatre at the Hilberry
The Underground at the Hilberry is accessible by stairs. If you have a mobility concern, please call the box office (313-577-2972) 24 hours in advance so we can assist you.
By SUZAN-LORI PARKS
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, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, gives vibrant life to the story of a young black woman’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.
“Venus is a formidable experience: a gnarly but brilliant meditation on the ambiguity of race, history, the colonized imagination, sexuality, and theatrical storytelling itself.” — The New Yorker
“The true story of a 19th-century Hottentot woman shipped from Africa to England and displayed as a freak was turned into a chilly but gripping play by Suzan-Lori Parks.” — Time Magazine
“Suzan-Lori Parks is…one of the most important dramatists America has ever produced. Venus addresses a number of subjects, including race, gender, science, love, slavery, colonialism, art, pleasure and death. It tells a tragic story discursively, digressively, elliptically, mockingly, shockingly, heartbreakingly.” — Civilization Magazine
|Friday, March 22 (Opening Night)||8 p.m.|
|Saturday, March 23||2 p.m. and 8 p.m.|
|Thursday, March 28||7 p.m.|
|Friday, March 29||8 p.m.|
|Saturday, March 30||2 p.m. and 8 p.m.|
|Sunday, March 31||3 p.m.|
|Thursday, April 4||7 p.m.|
|Friday, April 5||8 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 6||8 p.m.|
|Thursday, April 11||7 p.m.|
|Friday, April 12||8 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 13||8 p.m.|
Photo Gallery coming soon.
Cast & Creatives
Download our study guide, great for teachers and parents to help prepare students for this production. Activities presented assist in achieving the Michigan Common Core State Standards (MI-CCSS).