Suzan-Lori Parks’ play Venus officially opened May 15 at the Signature Theatre. Directed by Obie Award winner Lear deBessonet, the play depicts the real-life journey of Saartjie Baartman, the unfortunate star of 19th century London’s freak-show circuit.
Venus began performances April 15 in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center, where it is playing through June 4. Obie Award winner Zainab Jah (Eclipsed) stars as Baartman.
Flip through photos of the opening below:
Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus Opening NIght Off-Broadway
The play chronicles the unexpected—and devastating—rise to fame of Baartman, who traveled from southern Africa to London in search of a better life, but became known as “Hottentot Venus” and paraded on the freak-show circuit because of her large buttocks. The play details her relationship with a French scientist, and offers a unique perspective on the way we live and love today.
To purchase tickets call Ticket Services at (212) 244-7529 or visit SignatureTheatre.org.