It is the mission of Venus Theatre to set flight to the voices of women and children with theatre for a lifetime. We try to never produce the same play twice and have a deep belief that our adventurous audiences, who are always ready for a daring journey, will keep coming back to see what we’re up to next. As of December 2014, Venus Theatre produced 50 plays that empowered women. Each year, Venus receives about 200 play submissions and chooses four to produce in the calendar year ahead. Each production gets 20 performances. Venus offers a summer camp for children for one week in June or July each year. Venus will continue to produce four new plays that empower women in the calendar years ahead as well as expanding our educational and community outreach.
In 2000, Venus Theatre began her journey to become an incorporated 501c3. In the years prior exploration occurred under the title Venus Envy and the company led workshops at the House of Ruth and Take Back the Night marches on college campus’ in the DC/Baltimore Region.
Founder, Deborah Randall, began as an actor performing four different solo shows: All She Cares About is the Yankees (John Ford Noonan, published by Samuel French. ISBN: 0573632065), How She Played the Game (Cynthia Cooper, published by Brooklyn Publishers, LLC. ISBN:1600031285), Til It Hurts (Deborah Randall, unpublished), Molly Daughter (Deborah Randall, published in Anthracite! An Anthology and distributed through Chicago University Press. ISBN: 9781589661172).
The desire to return to collaboration became important and Deb started exploring full-length plays and readings. Out of these staged readings, full productions began to arise. During this time, Deb was also a Theatre Educator through the Helen Hayes Legacy Project for several years.
After producing in various spaces throughout Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, a new need arose. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own, a new journey began to find a storefront space that could be transformed into a black box. In 2006, the company moved into an old Chinese Restaurant on C Street. During the first few years in residence, a lot of family programming was launched with hopes of integrating into the neighborhood on a developmental level. This period was a critical time of development for Venus. But, just like in the earlier journey, the solo work came back, readings began to take place in the space, and Venus was back to producing cutting edge new theatrical works that captured empowering and sometimes harrowing journeys of women.
Fifteen years later and we are still empowering women. Venus now has a very strong awareness of the importance of sustainable creativity. We recycle set pieces, borrow where we can avoid building, and overall want to keep a clean green footprint when it comes to women in theatre.