Saint Sebastian Players presents TRANSIT OF VENUS Review – Quiet and Powerful

Saint Sebastian-TRANSIT OF VENUS
Jake Baker and Heather Smith

Saint Sebastian Players’ production of TRANSIT OF VENUS is a quiet and thought-provoking drama. It may seem simple at first, but as the timeline continues, the audience is taken to unconventional corners of this period piece.

TRANSIT OF VENUS is a Period Drama

The story is simple. A man has a yen for traveling and discovery. However, he also wants to marry a young woman. Instead of focusing on his journey, the story focuses on the agonizing wait the woman endures. Each act takes place multiple years since the previous one. Each intermission - there are two - represents a journey and a waiting period.

The play revolves around the passage of time. Long conversations in one room are often accompanied by other characters in different areas of the set going about their lives as the conversation happens. Time is constantly moving and so are their lives.

Saint Sebastian-TRANSIT OF VENUS
Renata Martynuk Saxon McAdams and Heather Smith as mother and daughter
Saint Sebastian-TRANSIT OF VENUS
Renata Martynuk Saxon McAdams and Jake Baker

Each intermission continues this portrayal of time movement. The actors do business on the stage to mimic the passage of time that the intermission represents. It is a unique experience to quietly observe.

Saint Sebastian Players Creates Gorgeous Set and Use of Space

The set, designed by Emil Zbella, makes elegant use of the depth of the stage. The observatory is set far away from the audience giving it a dreamy feel, while the living areas where the “every day” actions take place are directly in front. Zbella’s talent has skillfully transformed a church basement into an elegant and classy estate.

The extraordinary and beautiful period costumes, designed by Paula Kenar, are something to behold. Since the space is small, the audience can even hear the flowing of the exquisite gowns the women wear. This gives the play a rich and enhanced texture.

Heather Smith
Maggie Speer

Complete Emotional Transformation

Heather Smith portrays Celeste, the woman constantly waiting for her lover to return, with a unique grace. The large time span takes her from a girl of 15 to a woman of 26. Smith captures this profound transformation from innocence to experience and wisdom with great nuance. Her performance is a quiet phenomenon.


Top Pick For: Intellectuals

Not recommended for:
Large Spectacle Lovers

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.


Runs February 17, 2017 through March 12, 2017

Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00PM
Sundays at 2:00PM


St. Bonaventure
1625 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL


Full Price: $20
Seniors/Students/Children Under 12: $12
Special Chicago Theatre Week tickets available for opening weekend for $15


Online at

By phone at 773-404-7922



Photos:   Eryn Walanka

Saint Sebastian-TRANSIT OF VENUS
Leo LaCamera

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