The Area Stage Company’s first production of the 2017-18 season, was the Florida premiere of An Octoroon. Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins takes the plot of Dion Boucicault’s 1859 antebellum melodrama and smashes it with a 21st-century sensibility.
This production led off the Cultural Camaraderie Season on Sunday, September 17 and was hosted by Hillary Hoffman and Amy Lehman.
Presented through the eyes of the onstage playwright BJJ, this pre-Civil War tale set in the Deep South tells of a slave owner’s affections for a woman whose blood is one-eighth black. Directed by John Rodaz (Carbonell Award) and designed by Giancarlo Rodaz (Carbonell Award nomination), this production features choreography and original music to create a theatrical event hilarious and moving, subversive and provocative.
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—spectacularly and hauntingly—with all of us in the dark. “This decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.” reviews the critic from The New York Times.
After the play, FANs dined at Town Restaurant in South Miami. There was lots to discuss about the play’s theme and approach (as well as chatting about world events and happy times).