A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free, because everybody else is acting crazy.
An Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie-winning riff on a 19th century melodrama that helped shape the debate around the abolition of slavery, is an incendiary adaptation that the New York Post called “entertainingly demented.” Part period satire, part meta-theatrical middle finger, it’s a provocative challenge to America’s lasting legacy of slavery and the racial pigeonholing of 1859—and today.