AN OCTOROON Makes Its Florida Premiere at The Area Stage Company
The Area Stage Company announces its final production of the 2016-17 season, the Florida premiere of "An Octoroon" by Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. This work takes the plot of Dion Boucicault's 1859 antebellum melodrama, "The Octoroon", and smashes it with a 21st-century sensibility.
Winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play, "An Octoroon" is an incendiary, provocative, and humorous critique on the progress (or lack thereof) of race in America. It is a work of many levels, intelligently being a "play within a play", only adding to its already-sophisticated humor.
This pre-Civil War tale set in the Deep South tells of a slave owner and plantation heir's affections for Zoe, a woman who is one-eighth black. Although she was raised as part of a free, white, slave-owning family and the product of a forbidden - yet common at the time - affair, the few drops of black blood that are seen in Zoe are enough to condemn her to the auction block. An Octoroon is presented through the eyes of the onstage playwright BJJ, first seen telling about how his therapist doesn't understand his creative problems - all the while painting his face white and putting on a blonde wig.
An Octoroon asks viewers to take a close look at the concepts of race by thinking of them not as permanent states, but rather as shades of makeup. Actors don faces they aren't born with - black to white, white to red, even human to rabbit (a nod to Uncle Remus folk tales and now-controversial Disney movies).
The use of paint to smear racial lines mirrors the absurdity that this play presents, asking us all what identity is and laughing at it before we have an answer.
With today's controversy about the remaining monuments of the Confederacy and those who wish to "preserve its history", The Area Stage Company invites us to take a glimpse into that era of racist complacency - and laugh at it. They are exploring the horrors of bigotry and slavery through an absurdist lens. In An Octoroon, Pulitzer nominee Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has the audience re-examining everything they might think they know about race in America, wether it be today or in the Antebellum South. 1560 S Dixie highway coral gables fl 33146 l 305 666 2078 l areastagecompany.com
Directed by John Rodaz (Carbonell Award-winner) and designed by Giancarlo Rodaz (Carbonell Award-nominee) this production will feature choreography and original music to create a theatrical event that is equally hilarious and moving, subversive and provocative. - Release by James Negron
"AN OCTOROON invites us to laugh loudly and easily at how naïve the old stereotypes now seem, until nothing seems funny at all...-spectacularly and hauntingly-with all of us in the dark. This decade's most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today."
-The New York Times.
Produced with the Support Of: Funding Arts Network (FAN), Salon Group, Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.
The Area Stage Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre and conservatory located in Coral Gables, FL. For almost 30 years, they have staged world-class, provocative, and controversial theater and musical productions. With a mission to be a dynamic force of cultural growth, Area Stage Co has continuously produced a mix of contemporary plays, musicals and original new works, becoming one of South Florida's most influential theater companies. Area Stage Company now houses a professional theater company, a professional level conservatory for young, aspiring performers, and a theater program for people with developmental disabilities.
FACTS & CALENDAR INFORMATION
Crew: Director: John Rodaz, Productions Stage Manager: Luisa Rodriguez, Production Design: Giancarlo Rodaz, Piano: Rick Kaydas, Cello: Rachel Garcia
Previews: Thursday, September 14th to Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Performances: Sunday September 17th to Sunday October 8th, 2017, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 5 PM
Area Stage Company 1560 S Dixie Hwy Coral Gables, FL 33146
Adults: $45, Senior Citizens (65+): $40, Students (up to 25 years old with ID): $20
Please call (305) 666-2078 or visit us at areastagecompany.com
1560 S Dixie highway coral gables fl 33146 l 305 666 2078 l areastagecompany.com
It is the policy of Area Stage Company to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any accommodation, please contact Nicolle Guerra either by phone at 305-666-2078, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing at 1560 South Dixie Highway, Suite 103, Coral Gables, FL, 33140, at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).