Venus Theatre presents Season 2016

Sweet 16 Groovy Young Things


FUR by Migdalia cruz


MIGDALIA CRUZ is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, translator, & librettist of more than 55 works including: El Grito Del Bronx, Salt, Lucy Loves Me, Fur, Miriam’s Flowers, Frida, & Lolita de Lares; produced in the U.S. & abroad in venues such as BAM, CSC, Mabou Mines, National Theater of Greece/Athens, Old Red Lion/London, Houston Grand Opera, Ateneo Puertorriqueño, Teatro Vista, CollaborAction, & Latino Chicago Theater Company where she was a writer-in-residence. An alumna of New Dramatists, she was named the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright,  & was nurtured by Sundance, the Lark’s México/US Word Exchange, & by Maria Irene Fornés at INTAR. Migdalia was born in the Bronx where she wrote her first play at age 6.

On-going projects: a limbo-fantasia about El Pirata Cofresí & Robert Johnson—The Two Roberts; a re-imagining of Fellini’s & Petronius’ Satyricon—Satyricoño; & a commission for OSF’s “Play ON!” to translate Macbeth.   

In 2015:  FRIDA @ Michigan Opera Theatre; Satyricoño @INTAR New Works Lab & Latina/o Commons/HowlRound Carnaval of New Plays @DePaul; Yellow Eyes @ Visión Latino; Telling Tales @ Dartmouth’s El Caribe Global; Latins In La-La Land @ College of Wooster; & Never Moscow @LaMaMa Galleria for LaMaMa Experiments, December, 2015, her play about Chekhov, marriage, consumption, & the Three Sisters. She was part of the #Every28Days/1mpf in St. Louis & #4INTAR/1mpf in NY. 

In 2016:  FUR will be featured in the Festival Irene at Hero Theatre in L.A. in April; Lolita de Lares will be staged by Urban Theater Company of Chicago in June; and she will be teaching a week-long Fornésian Writing Workshop for Notre Dame & the Fornés Institute/Latina/o Commons with Anne Garcia-Romero in Chicago this August.  

She is delighted to be back at the Venus! Thank you, Deborah…

History of FUR: FUR was written while I was a student of Maria Irene Fornés at INTAR’s Hispanic-Playwrights-in-Residence Laboratory, having its world premiere at Latino Chicago Theater Company in 1995, directed by Ralph Flores.

It has had 13 stagings  in the U.S.,  1 in Puerto Rico at the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, 1 in Greece at the Experimental Wing of the National Theater of Greece in Athens, 1 in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival through Monarch Theatre in NY.

I also heard there were readings  in Turkey & Egypt—I gave permission for 2 women’s groups to get together and read the play.

Never heard back after that... 

Fur is the story of Citrona, a hirsute young woman who is purchased by Michael at  a sideshow to be his bride.  Michael has a fetish for animals and runs a pet shop in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles which has become a giant sand pit.  He hires Nena, an animal trapper to catch and bring food to the caged Citrona. But Citrona falls in love with Nena who’s in love with Michael. A tragi-comic triangular retelling of the Beauty & the Beast where the beast wins.


Garbage kids by jayme kilburn

May 19 - june 12 TICKETS

JAYME KILBURN is the Founding Artistic Director of the Strand Theater Company in Baltimore City. She is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Dramatic Art and Psychology. Jayme recently completed an interdisciplinary Master's degree in Gender and Performance Studies at NYU and is currently working towards her PhD in Performance and Media Arts at Cornell University. Jayme has won two Best Production Awards for her work in the Baltimore Playwright's Festival. She was named one of's 2006 Up and Comers,'s 2007 Best of Baltimore Community Theater for Best Direction, and received recognition for the Strand as one of the "top five theaters in Baltimore 2011" from Baltimore Magazine under her leadership. She has received grant funding from the Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, and Artscape. Jayme has directed One for the Road by Harold Pinter, Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez, In The Blood by Suzan Lori-Parks, The Mai by Marina Carr, The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman, Anna Bella Eema by Lisa D'Amour and That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play by Sheila Callaghan. Jayme’s play, Ding! Or Bye Bye Dad recently received its world-premiere at the Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD.

Garbage Kids Synopsis: Belly and Scuzzy are friends; friends who have been abandoned by their parents, live in and out of foster care, and have a hard time feeling normal. Act one is a memory play experienced through the lens of its main characters. The play begins in a waiting room. Belly and Scuzzy sit anxiously waiting for their arms or legs to be cut off, they’re not sure which. Belly returns from the doctor’s office with a gaping hole in his arm, Scuzzy with a piece of candy. As Belly and Scuzzy grow into adulthood, Scuzzy befriends a lonely woman who pesters her to take the place of her daughter. While Belly struggles with perfecting his street singing, ultimately giving up his aspirations for a job at KFC. Act two focuses on adulthood, in real-time. Belly and Scuzzy’s relationship is put under duress, the two ultimately finding that they are a harsh reminders of the other’s inadequacy and loneliness.


Rock the line by kathleen warnock


KATHLEEN WARNOCK is delighted to return to Venus, which previously produced her "Grieving for Genevieve," and gave "Rock the Line" a reading last fall at the Kennedy Center. A UMBC graduate, Kathleen is a NYC-based playwright, whose work has been seen in New York, London, Ireland (Dublin and Georgia), and regionally. Recent work: "Strivers," Astoria Stories, APAC, NYC; "The Further Adventures of..." (TOSOS, NYC and International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival); "Julie Andrews is the Devil," Women's International Theater Festival, Provincetown. Hostess of the Drunken! Careening! Writers! reading series (since 2004). Ambassador of Love for North America for the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Member of the Dramatists Guild.

Rock the Line Synopsis: On a raw winter day in the parking lot of a Rust Belt rock club, the faithful gather to celebrate their heroine, Patti Roxx, leader of The Wanderers. From near and far they travel, and they wait all day to be the first on line, stand closest to the stage, to commune with a rock goddess whose words and music shape, and sometimes save, their lives. As the day wears on, secrets are told, alliances made and tested, and ultimately, one has to decide whether to walk away alone.


soft revolution: shafana and aunt sarrinah by alana valentine


ALANA VALENTINE is an Australian writer based in Sydney, represented in the United States by the Peregrine Whittlesey Agency. Her play Soft Revolution: Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah premiered in 2009 and is now studied in schools. In recent years she has been the recipient of major International Awards including in 2012 the University of California, Santa Barbara-based 5th S.T.A.G.E International Playwriting Award for Ear to the Edge of Time. This prestigious award is given to a play about science or technology and attracted over 200 entries from 19 countries. In 2012 the judges were Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Tony Kushner, David Lindsay-Abaire and Donald Margulies, and Nobel Laureates Robert C. Richardson, Frank Wilczek and David J. Wineland. In 2014 she won the BBC International Radio Writing Competition (1000 entries from 86 countries) for The Ravens, broadcast on the World Service and later nominated for an Association for International Broadcasting Award for best creative feature. She also won three awards from the Australian Writers Guild in 2014 for her play Grounded, including the Major Award for best script of the year. She is presently writing a play co-commissioned by the National Theatre, London and the Sydney Theatre Company called Crossing the King. Alana’s plays are published by Currency Press and her website is

Soft Revolution: Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah Synopsis

What do you do when you profoundly disagree with someone you love?
At the heart of Soft Revolution: Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is the story of a young Australian-born Muslim woman and an intergenerational clash with her own Aunt. Based on interviews with Afghani/ Australian Muslim women and produced with the support of a large number of Muslim women from a diversity of Muslim cultures in Australia, this play will compel audiences with its portrait of women who are articulate, highly educated and deeply spiritual. University student Shafana turns to the religion of her heritage for answers after a terrorist attack, resulting in a deep experience of faith and a controversial decision to wear the hijab. But for her Aunt Sarrinah, also a devout Muslim but old enough to regret the changes in her Afghan homeland, the hijab represents both a world from which she has escaped and her fears about the new world she has embraced. Above all, this play is a startling meditation on the clash between individual freedom and cultural context, experienced through two tender and fiercely drawn female characters.