2019-2020 Season

Fall 2019


November 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 14th, and 15th @ 6-9pm. Black Box Studio, Center for Technology + Creativity

Venus is an extraordinary play by Suzan Lori Parks about the life of Saartje Baartman, also known as the Venus Hottentot. According to the Signature Theater, which most recently produced it, Venus' story as follows: "Traveling from her home in southern Africa for what she hoped would be a better life, Saartjie Baartman became an unfortunate star on the 19th Century London freak show circuit. This Obie Award-winning play gives vibrant life to the story of Baartman’s journey to London, her rise to fame as the “Hottentot Venus,” and her eventual relationship with a French scientist. Inspired by the true story of Baartman, Venus is a tragic-carnival, an intense and devastating journey honoring the life of Baartman and examining the way we live and love today."

Dr. Freddie Harris invites Bloomfield students, staff, and the Bloomfield Community to a workshop that demonstrates how Parks’ protagonist, Venus, is subjected to and silenced by the Euro-centric and sexualized discourses of landowners, the law, and science. Using van Dijk’s critical discourse methodology, as well as Thomas Huckin’s work on textual silences, workshop participants will become familiar with the sort of language use that marginalizes Venus, as well as women today, who are subject to white ideals of bodily beauty.

However, we will discover as a team how Parks offers Venus opportunities for resistance. Certainly, Parks has a unique style of scripting her plays that allow actors the freedom to explore how they might position her characters as resistors and activists within the limited rhetorical spaces dictated by white supremacy.

All participants will be credited in Dr Harris's upcoming monograph with Routledge Press in her chapter on Venus titled "Embodied Silencing: Dis-membering Law, Science, and Spectacle in Suzan Lori-Parks’ Venus (in debt to Slave Ship)" The research may also be presented at Bloomfield College's Research Day at the beginning of December.

The workshop will take place in the early part of November and is limited to approximately 10 participants. No acting experience is required but inquiring and participatory minds and bodies are encouraged!

Please email Dr. Harris @ fiona_harris-ramsby@bloomfield.edu for more information and to sign up.

Spring 2020

Coming Soon