THE STORY: Judge Peyton is dead and his plantation Terrebonne is in financial ruins. Peyton’s handsome nephew George arrives as heir apparent and quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful octoroon. But the evil overseer M’Closky has other plans—for both Terrebonne and Zoe. In 1859, a famous Irishman wrote this play about slavery in America. Now an American tries to write his own.
Winner of the 2014 OBIE Award for Best New American Play. “AN OCTOROON invites us to laugh loudly and easily at how naïve the old stereotypes now seem, until nothing seems funny at all…Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins is using a genre associated with exclamation points to ask questions not only about the portrayal of race in America but also about the inadequate means we have for such portrayals. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to reveal that this show ends—spectacularly and hauntingly—with all of us in the dark.” —The New York Times. “Super oxygenating—despite moments of palpable fear and disquiet, we leave feeling somehow healthier, as though the theater has given us a violent shake and a pep talk.” —Time Out (New York). “[A] wildly imaginative new work by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. AN OCTOROON simultaneously gives us [Dion Boucicault’s] great melodrama and its contemporary reverberations. [The play] might induce vertigo, but it insists that making theater can be the best way to talk back to history.” —The Village Voice.