Written by Cynthia Cooper and directed by Deborah Randall.
A sports scholar entices her friend, a designer and running buddy, to help envision a pop-up museum about women in sports. Six characters from sports history come alive, along with the challenges and successes of diverse people in any field of endeavor. Told in monologues by the two performers, the stories include Althea Gibson, first person to break the color barrier in tennis; Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel; Wilma Rudolph, an African-American Olympic runner who overcame childhood polio; Gretel Bergmann, a Jewish-German athlete used by the Nazis for propaganda; Babe Didrikson, one of the best all-round athletes of any gender, and Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson, a professional pitcher in the Negro Leagues. For ages 8 and up.
Living and Dying with Tricia McCauley, directed by Deborah Randall After a year and a half of PTSD recovery, Deb has begun to tell this story. Deciding not to allow the tragic loss of Tricia on December 25, 2016 to overshadow the brilliance of her spirit and vibrant life, Deb takes the stage. Tricia helped Deb develop several solo works over the 23 years of their friendship, Deb creates this one for her as an artistic monument to their joined laughter. Solo/Tribute piece. Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Torn between temptation and fear, will she go to her grave with her conventional moral certainties intact? Or will she have the courage to re-write history and finally be true to her heart?
An explosive and darkly comic conflict of desires and challenges us all to ask fundamental questions about identity.
Truth may seem but cannot be; Beauty brag but is not she; Truth and Beauty buried be. The Ravens is about Kira, a trying-to- be-ex sex worker in Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia. When she receives a large victim’s compensation payout, deciding what to do with the money becomes more of a problem than a relief. A friend from her former life feels that she is ‘owed’ by Kira, and moves back into her life and her flat. Then a chance meeting with Nina, a young social work student working at the local chocolate shop, seems like it might give Kira the courage and support she needs to finally get the violent Marg out of her life. An encounter with one of Nina’s old age clients at a nursing home focuses Kira’s determination but now she wants to help her friend Nancy, who is still working at a brothel but living in a dominating lesbian relationship. Finally Nina suggests that she might use the money for her and Nancy to put on a play – a version of Shakespeare’s poem The Phoenix and the Turtle. It’s a routine Kira and Nancy used to do as a striptease for an old client – can they learn to change themselves, phoenix like, into something other than they have been for so long? Can love – of life, of self, of friends - be resurrected and transformed by art? As an evocative radio play, The Ravens won the 2015 BBC International Radio Writing Award from the BBC World Service. Venus Theatre is delighted to be presenting the world premiere of the stage play - a visceral, provocative work of fierce insight and compassion for womens’ struggle out of violence.
Aglaonike, the first female astronomer, could predict lunar eclipses, but her science was suspect because she was a woman. She therefore billed herself as a sorceress and claimed she could draw down the moon. Inspired by her unsung history, this coming-of-age play follows the protagonist through a series of challenges, both magical and scientific. Drawing on ancient Greek traditions and postmodern performance trends,Aglaonike’s Tiger is stylized and visual and uses puppets and masks to explore political, ecological, and scientific themes.
A multi-layered celebration of the Feminine, TUNNEL VISION is ultimately a journey of acceptance and redemption, played out in a non-traditional theatre space from which truth, purpose and love unexpectedly emerge. Key to the action is the live construction of a sculptural art installation. Two female characters enter an unidentified space. It is unfamiliar to them and they are unfamiliar with each other. Unsure how they got here, they quickly find themselves “stuck” in this liminal space. The two struggle to maintain their composure --anything to avoid confronting the circumstances that lie beneath their arrival at this "place" or admit their burgeoning attraction to each other. The play considers many of the daily challenges women face as well as those issues that are, typically, solely female: the struggle to balance motherhood with the desire to have a career, the stigma that comes with not choosing the traditional path assigned our gender, the hypercritical judgment we place on ourselves in comparison to our female peers, the difficulty we find in truly loving ourselves, and the fear that sometimes comes in loving each other. TUNNEL VISION is ultimately a journey of acceptance and redemption, from which truth, purpose and love unexpectedly emerge.
Suffrage plays are Edwardian comedies created to entertain women as the picketed and protested for the right to vote at the other turn of the century. Quick, witty, and entertaining, these plays were often inspired from real events.
American women went to England where they learned the tactics of the Suffrage women. This included such activities as ballooning over Parliament and ripping the greens of the golf course with the words, “No Vote. No Golf” among many many other things. For the Americans having gathered every detail of Congressmen and Senators right down to the names of the pets, children, wives, and favorite foods and vacationing spots, to no avail after decades of kind attempts, this new approach would prove both controversial and effective.
Erased from history for a century, Venus brings these plays back to life to celebrate the strong shoulders of women on which we all stand today. “There were over 400 female playwrights in Britain between the years 1900 and 1920, a period which witnessed enormous political and social change.”