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Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus

Maureen Hunter


Obsessions and lifelong lovers permeate Maureen Hunter’s “Transit of Venus” as the eighteenth-century astronomer, Le Gentil, charts the heavens for Venus and the realm of his heart for his young fiancée. Le Gentil puts off marrying the young and wilful Celeste as he travels around the world in his attempts to plot the course of Venus across the sky, only to be undone at every turn by weather, war, and misfortune, and to find upon his final return a woman undone by his absence and ready to set her own course. Spanning eleven years in the lives of Le Gentil and Celeste, Hunter’s play explores issues of faith, solitude, and the human spirit.

J. Gordon Shillingford Publishers


Maureen Hunter

A Canadian playwright, Maureen Hunter was born on a farm near Indian Head, Saskatchewan in 1948.


She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1970, and began her writing career as a reporter for the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Winnipeg Tribune and the Southam chain. Since 1983, she has written mainly for theatre.


She co-authored a play for young people entitled “I Met a Bully on the Hill” (Prairie Theatre Exchange 1987, directed by Kim McCaw). “Footprints on the Moon” (Agassiz Theatre 1988) was nominated for the 1988 Governor General’s Award, and the winner of the Labatt Award for Best Canadian Play in 1995. It was published by Blizzard.


Her play “Transit of Venus” (1992, directed by Larry Desrochers) was the first play by a Manitoban playwright performed on the Manitoba Theatre Centre mainstage in a quarter century. It was subsequently performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Great Britain and recorded by BBC Radio. It has also been translated into Danish and was produced as an opera in 2007 by Manitoba Opera, with libretto by the playwright and music by Victor Davies.


“Atlantis” (MTC 1996, directed by Steven Schipper) was performed in French as “L’Atlantide” at Théâtre la Licorne (1999, directed by Olivier Reichenbach). It was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1997 and has received over eight productions across the country. “Vinci” opened at the National Arts Centre in 2002 (directed by Dennis Garnhum). “Wild Mouth” premiered at the Tarragon Theatre in January 2008.


Maureen Hunter has been a playwright-in-residence at MTC. She lives with her husband Gary in Winnipeg.


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