AN OCTOROON to Make Canadian Premiere at Shaw Festival

AN OCTOROON to Make Canadian Premiere at Shaw Festival

The Shaw's production of An Octoroon is perhaps the funniest, and certainly the most subversive, theatre experience this season. Riffing off of Dion Boucicault's melodrama The Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Obie Award-winning play is his sardonic, radical response to present and past attitudes of race. Directed by Peter Hinton, An Octoroon makes its Canadian premiere at the Royal George Theatre, beginning previews July 16.

André Sills stars in Jacobs-Jenkins' controversial and in-your-face reframing of Boucicault's romantic tale about a plantation owner who falls in love with a woman of mixed race in the Old South. Taking on this challenging piece of theatre is an accomplished cast comprised of Lisa Berry, Ryan Cunningham, Starr Domingue, Diana Donnelly, Patrick McManus, Kiera Sangster, Vanessa Sears and Samantha Walkes.

Complemented by Bonnie Beecher's lighting design, Gillian Gallow's stark black and white set contrasts dramatically with the Edwardian finery of the Royal George Theatre - unnervingly mirroring the play's themes. Gallow's costumes rooted in the plantation era include touches of contemporary style. The production's tone is completed with original music by Ryan deSouza.

An Octoroon is on stage at the Royal George Theatre (85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from July 16 to October 14 (opening July 28). It is generously sponsored by James F. Brown.

Cast: (in alphabetical order)

Lisa Berry, Dido
Ryan Cunningham, Assistant/Pete/Paul
Starr Domingue, Grace
Diana Donnelly, Dora
Patrick McManus, Playwright/Wahnotee/Lafouche
Kiera Sangster, Minnie
Vanessa Sears, Zoe
André Sills, BJJ/George/M'Closky
Samantha Walkes, Br'er Rabbit/Captain Ratts

Creative & Production:

Peter Hinton, Director
Gillian Gallow, Designer
Bonnie Beecher, Lighting Designer
Ryan deSouza, Composer
Diane Konkin, Stage Manager
Annie McWhinnie, Assistant Stage Manager

The Shaw Festival's 2017 season is on stage April 5 through October 15. The playbill features Me and My Girl, Saint Joan, Dracula, 1837: The Farmers' Revolt, Androcles and the Lion, Wilde Tales, The Madness of George III, Dancing at Lughnasa, An Octoroon, Middletown, 1979 and Secret Theatre.

Direct bus service from Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Shaw Express began April 5. Patrons can choose to come for one day or stay for the weekend with a round trip costing $25. A ticket to a 2017 Shaw Festival performance is required to access this service.

Tickets for the 2017 Festival season and Shaw Express are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

The Shaw Festival celebrates the life and spirit of Bernard Shaw by creating theatre that is as entertaining and provocative as Shaw himself.

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