Venus

Venus

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

There is NO LATE SEATING. Out of respect for the audience and the production, patrons arriving after the performance begins will not be admitted.

Performance Schedule

Friday, March 22 (Opening Night) 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 (School Matinee) SOLD OUT 10 a.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

Bergeron, John
Bergeron, John
Trekkie Monster (Avenue Q); Jaques (As You Like It); Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol); Roy Cohn (Angels in America Parts I and II); The Man, Later, The Baron Docteur (Venus)
Blackwell, Cameron “Cam”
Blackwell, Cameron “Cam”
Marcellus, Mayor (Xtigone); Dancer (To Sangana African Dance Company); Chorus (Venus)
Braxton, Dewight
Braxton, Dewight
Dick Wilkins (A Christmas Carol); Chorus (Venus)
Call, Lani
Call, Lani
Kate Monster (Avenue Q), Rosalind (As You Like It), Sonia (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Hannah Pitt, Ethel, Henry, Rabbi, and Angel (Angels in America); The Man, Later, The Mother-Showman, The Grade-School Chum (Venus)
Cavanaugh, Haley
Cavanaugh, Haley
Costume Designer (As You Like It and Venus)
Chapman, Jacob
Chapman, Jacob
Brian (Avenue Q); Louis (Angels in America)
Christiansen, Frederique
Christiansen, Frederique
Ghost of Christmas Present (A Christmas Carol); Chorus (Venus)
Clinton, Jane
Clinton, Jane
Chorus (Venus)
Courtney, Dr. RAS Mikey
Courtney, Dr. RAS Mikey
Choreographer (Venus)
Everett, Sol
Everett, Sol
Izzy (Xtigone); Chorus (Venus)
Fisher, Emily
Fisher, Emily
Stage Manager (Venus)
Hines, Billicia Charnelle
Hines, Billicia Charnelle
Lecher, Luke
Lecher, Luke
Marketing Lead (Xtigone, A Christmas Carol, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike); Marketing Associate (Angels in America and Venus)
Lee, Jared
Lee, Jared
Marketing Lead (Angels in America, Venus); Assistant Director (Angels in America: Part One)
Leigh, Tori
Leigh, Tori
Mrs. Cratchit (A Christmas Carol); Assistant Director (Venus)
Listenbee, Morgan
Listenbee, Morgan
Ensemble (A Christmas Carol); Saartje Baartman aka The Girl, Venus (Venus)
Mediate, Quint
Mediate, Quint
Princeton (Avenue Q); Silvius/First Lord to Duchess Frederica (As You Like It); Charity Gentleman/Mr. Fezziwig (A Christmas Carol), Walter (Angels in America); The Man, Later, The Baron Docteur (Venus)
Michalowski, Michael
Michalowski, Michael
Sound Designer (Avenue Q), Properties Master (A Christmas Carol), Sound Designer (Venus)
Milano, Sarah
Milano, Sarah
Chorus (Venus)
Smith, Matthew
Smith, Matthew
Nicky (Avenue Q), Orlando (As You Like It), Spike (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Joe Pitt/Prior 1/The Eskimo/Mormon Father/Angel Europa (Angels in America Parts I and II); Playwright (Pettycoats/Heck-Rabi); Chorus (Venus)
Smith, Rachael Ann
Smith, Rachael Ann
Fay, Wife of Marcellus (Xtigone); Director (Pettycoats/Heck-Rabi), Chorus (Venus)
Stone, Slu
Stone, Slu
Lighting Designer (Venus)
Tatum, Yakeem
Tatum, Yakeem
The Negro Resurrectionist (Venus)
Walker, Jasmine Monet
Walker, Jasmine Monet
Gary Coleman (Avenue Q); Cora/Hymen/Townsperson (As You Like It), Narrator (A Christmas Carol); The Angel/Emily/Sister Ella/Woman/Voice of Orrin/Mormon Mother/Taped Voice (Angels in America Parts I and II); Saartje Baartman aka The Girl, Venus (Venus) 
Williamson, Xaviar
Williamson, Xaviar
Props Master (Venus)
Wilson, Tobias
Wilson, Tobias
Bad Idea Bear/Newcomer (Avenue Q); Touchstone (As You Like It); Marley's Ghost/Old Joe (A Christmas Carol); Belize (Angels in America Parts I and II); U/S The Negro Resurrectionist (Venus)
Zhang, Angela
Zhang, Angela
Properties Master (Avenue Q), Scenic Designer (Venus)

Teacher Resources

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).

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