Venus Offers a Season Full of World Premieres

Venus Theatre, the Laurel, Maryland troupe which specializes in plays about the experiences of women, will offer a four-play season in 2013 in which three of the works are world premieres, the company has announced.

The world premiere of Following Sarah, by Baltimore actor/playwright Rick Espey, will open the season in April (more specific dates have not been announced).  It is the story of a terrifying decision made by a high-school cross-country star and the effect it has on her three close friends and on a newcomer to the school.  Espey, who has completed a term as Board Chair at Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theatre, is a three-time winner of the Carol Weinberg Award for best play at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival

In June, Venus will feature Kathleen Warnock’s Grieving for Genevieve, the story of a tough-as-nails Baltimore matriarch with three tough-as-nails daughters, including an oft-married musician, a hard-drinking, cursing nun, and an icy businesswoman who avoids her family whenever possible. Reviewing a production in New York, Talkin’ Broadway’s Matthew Murray said, “there’s not a trace of dreariness or self-consciousness in the show, nor is there a lack of humor or emotion. It’s all perfectly balanced, smoothed out into a dramatic stretch that’s completely seamless except for an intermission.” Grieving for Genevieve has won the John Golden Award.

The work of Fengar Gael (Devil Dog Six, Rorschach’s The Gallerist) returns to Venus in September with the world premiere of The Gift of Forgotten Tongues, the story of a young linguist’s attempt to translate a language which appears to have been spontaneously generated between two subjects of a genetic-mutation experiment gone wrong. The linguist’s father believes that this language holds the key to a visionary universe. Gael is a recipient of the Playwrights First Award and the Craig Noel Award.

The Venus season will close with a November world premiere production of No. 731 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, Claudia Barnett’s story about Kate Stoddard’s 1873 murder of Charles Goodrich. Stoddard believed herself married to Goodrich, but one night during a blizzard Goodrich told her that their marriage was not legal and had her evicted. Dr. Barnett is a Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University and has served as playwright-in-resident for Chicago’s Stage Left Theatre.

In addition to the season, Venus has scheduled a four-day theater camp for those between the ages of eight and eighteen from July 15 to 19. “Players will be exploring the archetypal story behind Cinderella,” the company promises.  “Students will create a performance based on their own interpretation.”

Tickets for Venus Theatre’s Lucky 13 season are on sale now. All performances are at its venue, the Playshack, at 21 C Street in Laurel, MD. Details and tickets.

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