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Post Theater Company’s Preparing for First Show of the Year: Venus

By Melanie Spina
Assistant A&E Editor

Ben Brinton. Photo by Mia Aguirre.

Post Theater Company will be beginning its season with Suzan Lori-Parks’ play “Venus.” The play focuses on the true-life story of Saartjie Baartman, known as Venus, who was part of the Hottentot tribe in Africa, which scientists in the early 1800s thought was the missing link between humans and apes.

Being a part of this tribe meant that she had a really big bottom and because of this, she is bought and put on display in a freak show in London, leading her to fame, said Assistant Director of the play, Ben Brinton, a junior Musical Theater major. The play follows her experience from Africa to her death in Paris, in and out of chronological order.

This play has been in the works from as early as last semester. “We had auditions in the spring,” Brinton said. “The director and I have been preparing all summer and we started rehearsing on the third day of classes.”

Brinton said that rehearsals are going great and that working with director Melissa Crespo, who currently works as a director for ABC Television Networks, has been “amazing.” “She is a genius and uses a lot of stuff that is taught in the school to put the show together in a very unique way,” Brinton said.

Oya Bangura, a sophomore Acting and Musical Theater sophomore, will be playing the lead role of Venus. Bangura claims she is very excited to star in this show and she is hoping it will let her grow as an actress. Emily Banks, a junior Musical Theater major, will be playing one of the other lead roles in the play.

Not everything is perfect though; Brinton admits that it’s been hard, particularly for juniors, to get into the swing of rehearsing constantly.

“The junior year in the theater department is the hardest year,” he said. “We are rehearsing five days a week, four hours a day sometimes even eight hours, so trying to handle classes and jump directly into a show at the same time has been a little hard for some.”

When asked what Brinton liked most about working on this show as the assistant director, he stated that he enjoys the artistic freedom that directing gives him.

“I enjoy how you get to make your own parameters really and make the script yours,” he said.

With an extremely busy schedule, Crespo didn’t have much time to sit down and talk about the play but she claims to be extremely content wit directing this play and she can’t wait to see the final result.

Venus will be showing at the Little Theater on Oct. 9 to 11 and on Oct. 15 to 18. All shows will be at 8 p.m. except for Sunday, which will be at 3 p.m.

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