ArtsWest Announces Full Cast for Seattle Premiere of AN OCTOROON

ArtsWest Announces Full Cast for Seattle Premiere of AN OCTOROON

This April, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' electrifying, Obie Award-winning play AN OCTOROON will make its Seattle debut, playing April 19 - May 13, 2018 at ArtsWest.

Since its original performance in 2014, AN OCTOROON has stunned critics and audiences alike. In open defiance of genre and traditional storytelling, Jacobs-Jenkins' adaptation of a 19th century melodrama - Dion Boucicault's THE OCTOROON - turns conventional theatre on its head to ask subversive questions about identity and the performance of race. On one level, the play is set in 1859, as the handsome George arrives at Terrabonne, his late uncle's slave plantation. There he quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful "octoroon" - a term for someone one-eighth Black - but the evil overseer M'Closky has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. But that's just one level, and audiences quickly learn that nothing is sacred in this genre-bending work: race, identity and time are bent by the whims of AN OCTOROON's audacious storytelling.

"An Octoroon is...I hesitate to use the word "deconstruction," because that word gets thrown around, but it's a complete recombination," said director Brandon J. Simmons in a recent interview CityArts. "For me, it's thrilling because I know exactly what I want to do. I'm interested in movement and music, building moments and combining moments into beautiful images."

AN OCTOROON features a cast of eight - Lamar Legend (HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, Book-It Repertory Theatre), Mike Dooly (OTHELLO, Balagan Theatre), Jose Abaoag (THE CHERRY ORCHARD, ACT), Jessi Little (THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, Sound Theatre Company), Heather Persinger (FRANKENSTEIN, Book-It Repertory Theatre), Dedra Woods (DEATH OF A SALESMAN, ArtsWest), Jéhan Òsanyìn (YANKEE PICKNEY, Theater Schmeater), and Jazmyne Waters, who makes her major theatrical debut with this production.

Rounding out the creative team are Stage Manager Malie Fujii (THE WHO & THE WHAT, ArtsWest), Lighting Designer Matthew Webb (I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, Book-It Repertory Theatre), Doris Black (GHOSTS, ArtsWest), Julia Hayes Welch (HIR, ArtsWest), Andrea Spraycar (THE NANCE, ArtsWest), and Matt Staritt (HIR, ArtsWest).


  • Lamar Legend - BJJ/George/M'Closky
  • Mike Dooly - Playwright/Wahnotee/Lafouche
  • Jose Abaoag - Assistant/Pete/Paul
  • Jessi Little - Zoe
  • Heather Persinger - Dora
  • Dedra Woods - Minnie
  • Jéhan Òsanyìn - Dido
  • Jazmyne Waters - Grace


  • Brandon J. Simmons, Director
  • Malie Fujii, Stage Manager
  • Matthew Webb, Lighting Designer
  • Doris Black, Costume Designer
  • Julia Welch, Scenic Designer
  • Andrea Spraycar, Properties Master
  • Matt Staritt, Sound Designer

About the Production

AN OCTOROON plays April 19 through May 13, 2018 at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (4711 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116). Tickets (ranging from $17 - $38) may be purchased online at, by phone at 206.938.0339, or at the Box Office Thurs. - Sat. 2 -7:30pm.

About ArtsWest

ArtsWest is a vibrant center for both performing and visual arts located in the West Seattle Junction. This 149-seat theatre provides a unique setting for audiences and artists as stories of human emotion unfold in an intimate space. Winner of the American Theatre Wing's 2012 National Theatre Company Award, ArtsWest has produced such diverse work as Green Day'S AMERICAN IDIOT, CHINGLISH, last fall's critically acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen's GHOSTS and the smash hit PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. ArtsWest produces artistic events that provoke conversation, incite the imagination and use live theater as a powerful agent of change.

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