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By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Natsu Onoda Power
This dramatic retelling of the true story of the Sarah “Saartjie” Baartmann, the late 18th-century “Venus Hottentot,” just might be Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks’s masterpiece—and a modern classic. In Venus, an African woman is enticed to Europe with promises of fame and fortune, but ends up trapped between serving as a carnival freak show and a subject in a medical amphitheater, an exhibition in both life and death.
Grounding her virtuosic command of language in a recognizable time and place, Parks creates a period piece rich with implications for our contemporary culture. In an era when stories about race, gender, sexuality and political liberty dominate the conversation, Parks illuminates them in all their intersectionality.
The ReDiscovery Series introduces audiences to new adaptations and great but lesser-known classic plays under consideration for STC’s mainstage seasons. Written by notable playwrights and performed by some of D.C.’s most talented actors, these one-night-only readings are often the first step in bringing a new adaptation or an under-produced classic back into the spotlight worldwide. Every ReDiscovery reading concludes with a post-show panel featuring artists, scholars and esteemed community members.