The Olney Theatre Center for the Arts presents Venus by Suzan-Lori Parks as part of The Potomac Theatre Festival 2004. The year was 1810. Before Barnum. Before the Elephant Man. 1810. The year a young woman began a harrowing life journey. Lured by hucksters from her South African home, 20-year old Saartje Baartman embarks on an exhibition tour through London. With the promise of riches, she becomes the 'Venus Hottentot,' a freak in a circus sideshow. Yet even in the shadow of repressive conditions, society fervently embraces Venus. When she breaks free and ventures out on her own to cash in on her newfound celebrity, her life takes an astonishing turn. Elegiac and profound, poignant and deeply moving, Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks unravels a searing examination of the objectification of people, the fascination with what is "heathen" or foreign, and the unabashed injustice of appearance over substance.