Photo of the Production

A young girl. An French doctor. A harsh, unforgiving city. Come one, come all and hear the tale of The Venus Hottentot, the beautiful African Dancing Princess. Star of the freak shows and medical wonder. Step right up, folks. Don’t be shy. An opportunity like this comes around once in a life time.

Suzan-Lori Parks’ brilliant examination of race, history, and the colonization of imagination: Venus invites you in to look closer. 



ASL-Interpreted Performance: October 24

Heather Gray and Chelsea Faber will be providing simultaneous ASL interpretation for Venus on Thursday, October 24.  Chelsea Faber, a Pitt theater arts student, is working on a BPhil project on arts accessibility, and will be assisting Ms. Gray during the interpretation.

Backstage Talk & Tour: November 1 and 8

Ever wonder what happened backstage during ths show?  Pitt's USITT club is offering FREE talks and backstage tours after select peformances of Venus.  November 1st and 8th, stick around in your seats to hear a short talk about the technical process and how Venus got made.  After the talk, you will be led on a technical tour of the place, including quick-change areas, dressing rooms, preshow/postshow routines, and backstage quirks.

Guest Artist Panel: November 3

After Sunday's performance, join us for a post-show discussion with Mexican transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata and award-wimming artist and culture change strategist Bridgit Antoinette Evans.  For more information visit our production blog.


Certainly among the most bizarre and repulsive incidents in the history of European colonialism and white supremacy — apart from the various genocides, that is — is the exploitation of a tiny, lone South African woman, Sarah Baartman. Billed as "The Hottentot Venus," she was hauled around Great Britain and France as a freak-show attraction in the early 19th century. Read the full review »

The play is built around the Venus role, a complicated one that mixes naivete, shrewdness, intelligence and resignation with a striking physical appearance. Bria Walker, teaching artist in residence at Pitt, captures all of these elements in a compelling performance. Read the full review »