AN OCTOROON Explores Race Taboos Through Comedy
Majestic Repertory Theatre presents Branden Jacobs-Jenkins 2014 Obie Award-winning satire, AN OCTOROON.
When Dion Boucicault wrote "The Octoroon" in 1859, it was considered a masterpiece. Its story of a plantation owner falling for a woman of mixed race was taken as a bold plea for racial tolerance; now, it just seems embarrassingly racist. So why has America's hottest young black playwright decided to rescue such a play from obscurity? AN OCTOROON, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' radical response, compares attitudes to race then and now in the funniest and least comfortable theatre experience in years.
"I remember studying 'The Octoroon' in theatre history class," says Artistic Director Troy Heard. "While progressive for its time, Boucicault whitewashed antebellum America, both literally and figuratively. Although tropes such as the Tragic Mulatto shouldn't fly in modern society, you still see shadows lurking in our popular culture. AN OCTOROON's satirical brilliance will have you laughing one moment, and utterly appalled a second later. This isn't easy theatre, but it's so damn complex and powerful."
AN OCTOROON continues Majestic Rep's "revolutionary" second season, which focuses on hot topics effecting today's America, following the fiftieth anniversary production of HAIR: THE AMERICAN TRIBAL LOVE-ROCK MUSICAL and the thrilling KID SISTER. Other shows in the season include ANIMAL FARM, MARIE ANTOINETTE and the sci-fi world premiere SENTIENCE.
Performances of AN OCTOROON will be November 2nd through November 18th, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Majestic Repertory Theatre performs at 1217 S. Main Street. General admission tickets are $25 and are on sale now at www.majesticrepertory.com. Call 702-423-6366 for details.