Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s AN OCTOROON, Starring Maechi Aharanwa, Pascale Armand, Danielle Davenport, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Austin Smith, Haynes Thigpen, and Mary Wiseman, Extends Again Off-Broadway Through March 29

Due to popular demand, Theatre for A New Audience’s critically acclaimed production of Soho Rep.’s An Octoroon has been extended again and will play through March 29 at Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place in Brooklyn.

Maechi Aharanwa, Danielle Davenport, and Pascale Armand in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Maechi Aharanwa, Danielle Davenport, and Pascale Armand in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s widely acclaimed play, directed by Sarah Benson, Artistic Director, Soho Rep, has played to sold out houses since previews began on February 14. The production opened on February 26.

Mary Wiseman and Austin Smith in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Mary Wiseman and Austin Smith in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

The cast for Soho Rep.’s An Octoroon includes Maechi Aharanwa, Pascale Armand, Danielle Davenport, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Austin Smith, Haynes Thigpen, and Mary Wiseman.

Click here for bios of the cast and creative team.

Haynes Thigpen, Austin Smith, and Amber Gray in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Haynes Thigpen, Austin Smith, and Amber Gray in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Haynes Thigpen and Ian Lassiter in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Haynes Thigpen and Ian Lassiter in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Soho Rep.’s AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Soho Rep. originally produced the World Premiere of An Octoroon (Opening Night May 4, 2013). It was last season’s most exciting new play, winning two OBIE Awards, including Best New American Play. The New York Times called it then “exhilarating” and made it a Critic’s Pick, and the Wall Street Journal called it “one of the biggest hits of the season.” An Octoroon was also included in the Top Ten 2014 Best Theatre lists of The New York Times, Time Out New York, and The Guardian.

Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins takes on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 play, The Octoroon, about forbidden love and slavery in the American South and “uses the plot of the Irish playwright’s antebellum melodrama as the starting point for a bigger, wilder play” (The New Yorker).

In An Octoroon, 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 plans­for both Terrebonne and Zoe.

The creative team includes Mimi Lien (sets), Wade Laboissonniere (costumes), Matt Frey (lights), Matt Tierney (sound), Jeff Sugg (projections), Cookie Jordan (wigs and makeup), César Alvarez (songs, music, & music director), J. David Brimmer (fight director), David Neumann (choreography), Noah Mease (props), Lester St. Louis (cellist) and Amanda Spooner (stage management).

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS (Playwright). Branden’s plays include Appropriate (Obie Award; Outer Critics Circle nomination; Signature Theatre), Neighbors (The Public Theater), War (Yale Rep), and An Octoroon (Obie Award; Soho Rep). He is currently a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theatre and a former Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at The Juilliard School. His work has been seen at Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Victory Gardens Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, Matrix Theatre in L.A., Mixed Blood Theatre is Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is under commissions from Lincoln Center/LCT3 and MTC. His honors include a Paula Vogel Award, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the inaugural Tennessee Williams award.

SARAH BENSON (Director) has been the Artistic Director of the Obie Award-winning Soho Rep since 2007. Recent New York credits include Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon (Soho Rep); Lucas Hnath’s A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep); David Adjmi’s Elective Affinities (site-specific); Sarah Kane’s Blasted (Soho Rep, Obie Award and Drama Desk nomination); and The Lisps’ musical Futurity (A.R.T. & Walker Arts Center). Other credits include Gregory S. Moss’ House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth) and Ajax (A.R.T.). Upcoming: The Lisps’ Futurity and Richard Maxwell’s Samara.

Single tickets, on sale now, are $60-$85 and may be purchased online at www.tfana.org, by phone at 866-811-4111, or in person at the Theatre for a New Audience Box Office (262 Ashland Place). Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1:00pm to 6:00pm. A limited number of premium seats are available for $100. New Deal tickets for ages 30 and under or full-time students of any age are priced at $20 each and can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the box office. Subscriptions for Theatre for a New Audience’s 2014-2015 Season are $147 for a 3-play package and are available by calling (212) 229-2819, ext. 10. For information or to subscribe online, visit www.tfana.org. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30pm, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm.

Related articles:
Photos: Tonya Pinkins, Trezana Beverley, Tyrone M. Henderson and More Set for World Premiere of War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Yale Repertory Theatre through December 13
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Photos: Cheryl Lynn Bruce, André De Shields, Sandra Marquez, Chay Yew, Dennis Zacek and More Celebrate Opening Night of Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Victory Gardens

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Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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