Venus’ Daughter is inspired by the life of Sara “Saartjie” Baartman, who was known as “The Hottentot Venus”. Baartman was a Khoisan woman taken from South Africa to be displayed on London stages from 1810 to 1815, and was then posthumously displayed at the Musee de l’Homme in Paris, France until 2002. The story follows Denise, a young Black woman guided by an ancestor to begin her journey into self-love. Exploring the intersection of myth, fable, and the reality of how women and their bodies are viewed, Venus’ Daughter peels back the layers of pop culture’s obsession with the Black female form and the silence around the infamous figure, making connections through the centuries.
News & Reviews
“If you aren’t afraid of a bit of magic, intense and polarized emotions, facing the horrific realities of European colonialism’s history and legacy, and witnessing a woman’s very personal and loving journey, then…see Venus’ Daughter.” — Mooney on Theatre
About the Author
Meghan Swaby is a first-generation Jamaican-Canadian actor and playwright based in Toronto. Her play Venus’ Daughter was produced by Obsidian Theatre in 2016 and was included on The SureFire List (Playwrights Guild of Canada) as one of the top 23 recommended plays in Canada. She has participated in various playwriting residencies over the years, with companies such as Nightwood Theatre, Obsidian Theatre, Diaspora Dialogues, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and the Stratford Festival. Her work has been performed internationally and was included as part of 50in50: Writing Black Women Into Existence at the Billie Holiday Theatre (Brooklyn, NY). Meghan’s writing was included in the anthology Black Lives, Black Words (Oberon Playwrights Press 2017). Meghan is a graduate of University of Windsor (Acting) and alumni of Shakespeare Globe (UK). She currently has several works in development including commissions with Myseum of Toronto and The Stratford Festival, and a podcast about Caribbean folklore.