Transit of Venus

Written By: Maureen Hunter

Synopsis: Based on a true story, this play examines the relationship between an ambitious astronomer and the women who love him, particularly the young and wilful Celeste.  Although set in France during the 18th century, it speaks to a number of deeply human, universal issues, including the conflicting needs of men and women.

Finalist, Dora Mavor Moore Award, Outstanding New Play, Large Theatre Division, 1995

Transit of Venus was produced as a full-length opera by Manitoba Opera in 2007, with libretto by Maureen Hunter and music by Victor Davies.  The opera was broadcast by CBC Radio.


"Transit of Venus is an intelligent, compelling script that deals with big ideas and intense human emotions, a grandly tragic romance and a comment on several deeply human issues."  The Globe and Mail

"intelligence and style."  The London Independent

"Skilful writing ...  It's about the love of knowledge, it's about the love of life."

"Elegant and classy yet unpretentious and accessible, Transit of Venus is one of the more effective romances to grace [the] stage."  Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

History: Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, 1992.  World premiere.

Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon, SK, 1993

Royal Shakespeare Company, The Other Place, Stratfold-upon-Avon, 1993, and The Pit, Barbican Centre, London, England, 1994.  British premiere.

Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay, ON, 1994

Globe Theatre, Regina, SK, 1994

Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage, Toronto, and National Arts Centre, Ottawa (co-production), 1995

Gryphon Theatre, Barrie, ON, 1995

Manitoba Theatre Centre provincial tour, 1996

"E.L.", Canterbury, England, 1996

BBC Radio, 1996 and 1997

Berkshire Theatre, Stockbridge, Massachusettes, 1998.  U.S. premiere.

Workshop West/University of Alberta Drama Department, Edmonton, AB, 1999

Sudbury Theatre Centre, Sudbury, ON, 2002

Theatre & Company, Kitchener, ON, 22002

The Oakville Players, Oakville, ON, 2002

Theatre Tart, Vancouver, BC, 2003

University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, 2005

Bickford Theatre, Morristown, New Jersey, 2008

Owen Sound Little Theatre, Owen, Sound, ON, 1998

University of Regina, Regina, SK, 2008

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 2009

Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, 2010

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 2012

Battlefords Community Players, North Battleford, Sk, 2013

Winchester Dramatic Society, Winchester, Hampshire, U.K. 2013

Availability: Draft in MAP archives.

Complete script, Blizzard Publishing, 1992.

Complete script in "3-D English:  Contemporary Canadian Scripts," Prentice Hall Canada Ltd., 1994

Scene in "Taking the Stage:  Selections from Plays by Canadian Women," Playwrights Canada Press, 1994

Complete script in "7 Canons," Playwrights Canada Press, 2000

Complete script in "Three Plays:  Maureen Hunter", Sciroccco Drama, 2003

Complete script, Scirocco Drama, 2006


Running Time (mins): 76-120

Cast: 2M / 3F

Genres: Drama