7 an octoroon the art of dramatic composition: a prologue bjj enters an empty, unfortunate-looking theatre, mostly — if not completely — naked he holds a remote control and surveys the audience for a moment, before : bjj hi, everyone i'm a “black playwright” (beat) i don't know exactly what that. Obie award-winning playwright branden jacobs-jenkins takes the plot of dion boucicault's 1859 antebellum melodrama, the octoroon, and smashes it with a 21st century sensibility presented through the eyes of the onstage playwright bjj, this pre-civil war tale set in the deep south tells of a slave. You think you were going meta by having a character named bjj onstage in a play by branden jacobs-jenkins i'm gonna go meta on your meta now i'm putting both of us in quotes — in my 2017 story about your 2014 play about the original 1859 play (the octoroon by dion boucicault) based on the. The prologue is unbeatable, as bjj (ken nwosu, terrific) mulls in a firecracker of a monologue on what it means to be a 'black playwright' ned bennett's dancing, darting production – which teasingly includes white-face make-up for a black actor – then takes us to louisiana for a stripped-down whizz. It's equally potent in its midwest premiere at dobama theatre, where we first meet bjj - jacobs-jenkins' alter ego, played by a charming, mercurial review an octoroon what: a dobama theatre production of the midwest premiere of the play by branden jacobs-jenkins directed by nathan motta.
$30-$40 to be a black playwright, according to branden jacobs-jenkins's onstage surrogate, bjj, is to have every work examined through the lens of racial discord in america, be it relevant or not this review has been amended to correctly identify one of the songs used in this production it is lesley. (l-r) erika rose and shannon dorsey in an octoroon at woolly mammoth theatre (photo: scott suchman) pre-show gyrations and front of curtain speech become dressing room chat where bjj applies white face, explaining how he has had to step into the role of a white plantation heir in his own. Much of the story is drawn from dion boucicault's the octoroon, which was an instant hit when it opened at the old winter garden theatre in 1859 jacobs- jenkins pulls the camera back to capture the angst-ridden playwriting process itself: a monotone young black playwright, bjj (chris myers), stands.
Granted, there was at least one moment when the majority of the audience was shocked: it was near the beginning, when bjj (avatar of playwright branden i know i've mentioned this before, but it's still relevant: the reason i love boondocks creator aaron macgruder's infamous scathing review (and. Which brings us, properly, to an octoroon jacobs-jenkins begins his adaptation by coming out to talk to the audience in his underwear – at the shaw festival appearing in the form of award-winning actor sills hi everyone: i'm a 'black playwright,' bjj says, before he explains why he admires boucicault's. 26, 2015 still, mr jacobs-jenkins finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being “a black playwright,” without knowing exactly what that means so in the opening moments of “an octoroon,” he sends his alter ego, b j j (austin smith, in a terrific professional debut) onstage to consider the matter — in.
By ishai padawer in the early moments of “an octoroon,” the 2014 play by branden jacobs-jenkins, we learn that an “octoroon” is a person who is 1/8th black the playwright playfully calls his lead character “bjj,” using him to vent that audiences think he is trying to “deconstruct race in america” complain. The fourth of the original play's five acts is a murder trial that bjj refuses to let us see he gives us a synopsis instead his excuse is that the crucial piece of evidence is that new-fangled thing, a photograph, something that could hardly thrill us the way it did the audiences of 1859 that's specious a photo.
That's what branden jacobs-jenkins does in 'an octoroon' a hit in new york, it begins with a depressed playwright, bjj, whose therapist suggests he adapts a work he admires he chooses dion boucicault's 1859 melodrama, 'the octoroon', about a girl who, being one-eighth black, cannot marry the. Such is the case with branden jacobs-jenkins's an octoroon, his 2014 play currently in a production at the berkeley repertory theatre, which can be initially off-putting, but offers tremendous rewards for those willing to give it a chance an octoroon begins with an author surrogate named “bjj” addressing. Bjj – a black playwright who plays the characters: george – the white heir to the plantation terrebonne, a photographer m'closky – an evil white overseer who plots to buy terrebonne and zoe playwright – a characterization of the octoroon's caucasian author, dion boucicault who plays the roles of: wahnotee – an. This was my first introduction to bjj's genius and witty depiction of american hypocrisy my prof was careful in the way she introduced this text to us because of how sensitive the material in this play was, and instead of inhibiting my enjoyment of the critique found in the text, i found myself thinking about the bigger questions.
Jacobs-jenkins also reframes the play by writing a sort of prologue in which smith plays a character named bjj, who introduces himself as a black playwright and bemoans the tendency of critics to assume that all of his plays—even the one about farm animals—are attempting to deconstruct the race. This five act play starts off with playwright bjj (breon arzell) in a black box talking to his therapist to try and ct-octoroon-definition-theatre-photos-20170724-008 overcome his depression however, bjj is solely focused on the preparation for his play despondent by issues of white actors quitting on him.
Bjj (lance gardner) gets ready to perform whiteness in 'an octoroon' by brandon jacobs-jenkins (photo: kevin berne) the coup-de-theatre of jacobs- jenkins' smart opening is that bjj is preparing for a role in his reimagining of boucicault's melodrama he's going to play both the white hero and the. When andre sills as bjj, the alter-ego of playwright brendan jacobs-jenkins, quietly took the stage sunday night in very snug underpants and nothing else, with house lights up at the royal george theatre in the opening scene of an octoroon at the shaw festival, the people on either side of me were still. He tells us that he is the playwright of an octoroon, though of course this is actor brandon green, who is playing branden jacobs-jenkins (referred to in the script as bjj) he tells us that the script of an octoroon partly came out of a discussion bjj had with his therapist bjj hilariously reenacts this session.
Full synopsis bjj, a caricature of branden jacobs-jenkins, emerges nearly naked onto the stage as he tells the audi- ence about the process of writing play they are watching he adapted this piece from dion bouci- cault's 1859 antebellum plantation melodrama the octoroon since no white people felt comfortable. Sills stars in an octoroon as bjj, the namesake character of jacobs-jenkins who wrote himself into the drama the original playwright boucicault would act in his own plays and jacobs-jenkins wanted to pay homage and have his own voice represented in bjj's epic and angry opening monologue, where. Centuries of conflict converge in “an octoroon,” as the modern playwright, called bjj, converses—first with us, and then with dion boucicault, the writer of “the octoroon,” a wildly popular play of 1859 bjj (talented, inventive lance gardner) tells us about boucicault's play, invokes booming rap music, and.