Venus $13

Suzan-Lori Parks

Published by Dramatists Play Service

8 Male 4 Female

In 1810, The Venus Hottentot (as she is dubbed)-a young black woman with an enormous posterior-is lured away from her menial job in South Africa to tour the world and make lots of money

Once in England, however, she is sold to a freak show and becomes a star

She shows off her attribute, bringing in crowds and raking in money for the side show owners

Quickly becoming adept at showing herself, and figuring out what the people want, she even tries to break out on her own, but can't quite master that in those social times

Eventually, she is procured by a white doctor who is more than fascinated with her

He falls in love with her and keeps her as his mistress until he is in danger of losing his medical reputation and social standing

Venus, who journeyed to Europe with high hopes, at the end of her short life, was dissected by the man she loved

"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 form Africa to England and displayed as a freak was turned into a chilly but gripping play by Suzan-Lori Parks" ~ Time

"Suzan-Lori Parks isone 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

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