This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts .
OBIE AWARD WINNER FOR BEST NEW AMERICAN PLAY
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, one-eighth black “octoroon.” But the evil overseer, M’Closky, has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. From the author of Gloria (Gamm 2018) and Appropriate, this raucous, irreverent retelling of a hit 19th-century melodrama is “this decade’s most eloquent statement on race in America today.” (New York Times)
“Super oxygenating . . . as though the theater has given us a violent shake and a pep talk.” (Time Out New York)
“Bizarrely brilliant. Extraordinary.” (The Guardian)
Read the previews and reviews for this show.
Set Design Michael McGarty
Costume Design Liza Alexis
Lighting Design Dawn Chiang
Sound & Video Design Peter Sasha Hurowitz
Fight Choreography Normand Beauregard
Voice Coaching Candice Brown
Movement Directing Jackie Davis
Production Dramaturg Rachel Walshe
Production Management Jessica Hill Kidd
Stage Management Kristen Gibbs*
Assistant Stage Management Anais Bustos*, Jessica Corsentino
Assistant to the Director/Media Curator Erik Robles
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
An Octoroon mocks societal conventions both past and present with the use of racially-charged humor, extreme caricature, and intensely provocative language (Yes, the N- word is used… not infrequently). This production also features the depiction of acts of racially-motivated violence.
Audiences can expect loud sounds, theatrical weaponry, and simulated violence.
Audiences can also expect to laugh, sing, dance (if you’re so moved!) and revel in the joy of theatrical complexity.
Click here for a more detailed content advisory. Please note, this list contains spoilers.
PHOTOS BY CAT LAINE
REVIEWS & PREVIEWS
"'And it is a funny show! It’s also deeply complicated and nuanced. Fortunately, there’s a strong cast to usher you along the way, under Wilson’s fantastic direction. The entire group is remarkable, with a lot of new faces on Gamm’s stage, widening the company’s already impressive talent pool. ...Just go." WPRO (2/11/22)
"[An Octoroon] pries at prejudices and pushes at closed gates in a person’s mind. It can elicit a gasp one moment, a chuckle the next. It is a challenging, heart-stirring piece of theater." Boston Globe (2/7/22)
"From its rousing opening dance number to its final shattering tableau, The Gamm’s production of 'An Octoroon' is a must-see. If this is theater in Rhode Island, I am here for it." Hey Rhody (2/7/22)
"As I settled in to write about my (unforgettable) experience at the Gamm Theatre Sunday afternoon absorbing "An Octoroon," Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' excruciating, hilarious, mind-bending, edgy, comedy about race, and a play with a phenomenal cast, gorgeous costumes, a superb set and confident, brilliant direction, a voice on the radio interrupted my thoughts with some horrible, disturbing news." Westerly Sun (2/3/22)
"As a theatrical experience and as a look at our past, 'An Octoroon' is mesmerizing." Warwick Post (2/5/22)
"You’ve never seen anything quite like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins 'An Octoroon' ... You might leave the theater trying to sort out all the ideas, but you can’t stop thinking about what you’ve just seen." The Independent (2/3/22)
"This is a powerful play, and one that asks a lot of its audience. Regardless of how one feels after a viewing, it's hard to imagine not being changed in a very real way, and that is the point of good art. The talent of the incredible cast, and the clear comradery among the actors are what make this compelling watching and it should not be missed." Broadway World (2/3/22)
"'An Octoroon' is a 19th century play reconfigured with a 21st century sensibility that somehow compresses time and history to create a play that’s laugh-out-loud funny, achingly tragic, and a call to action." East Greenwich News (2/2/22)
"We as a company, we're not going to wimp out, we're gonna step into this. Because of how we use space, how we use our imaginations, it’s a beautiful production. I really … they've never seen the Gamm Theatre look like it's looked for this production." The Public's Radio (1/27/22)
"It’s about building room where people are safe and can trust each other," Wilson says. "Who else is laughing? It’s like an onion, with many questions to be asked." Providence Journal (1/21/22)