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Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre has announced complete casting for its upcoming production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus, about the real-life journey of Saartjie Baartman, the unfortunate star of 19th century London’s freak show circuit. Directed by Obie Award winner Lear deBessonet, the new play will debut this spring. Venus is scheduled to begin previews April 25, 2017 ahead of a May 15, 2017 opening. Performances will be in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center through June 4, 2017. The cast is made up of Hannah Cabell (The Father), Tony Award nominee John Ellison Conlee (The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence), Obie Award winner Randy Danson (Love and Information), Adam Green (The Winter’s Tale), Birgit Huppuch (The Moors), Obie Award winner Zainab Jah (Eclipsed), Kevin Mambo (The Color Purple), Patrena Murray (The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead), Reynaldo Piniella (The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World), Julian Rozzell (The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World), and Tony Torn (Latter Days). Venus chronicles the unexpected—and devastating—rise to fame of Baartman, who traveled from southern Africa to London in search of a better life but became known as “Hottentot Venus” and paraded on the freak show circuit because of her large buttocks. The play details her relationship with a French scientist, and offers a unique perspective on the way we live and love today. The production’s creative team consists of scenic designer Matt Saunders, costume designer Emilio Sosa, lighting designer Justin Townsend, sound designer and composer Brandon Wolcott, choreographer Danny Mefford, and fight director Thomas Schall. Evangeline Whitlock is the production stage manager. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Karyn Casl, CSA. —Playbill