The Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will present the regional premiere of An Octoroon Feb. 21-25 in the Haislip Theatre in the Center for Performing Arts on the UA Little Rock campus, 5900 University Dr.
An Octoroon offers audiences a provocative, funny, and surprisingly poignant examination of race in 21st-century America. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, recipient of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play, cleverly exposes the roles that we play in maintaining the melodramatic travesty of “whiteness” in contemporary America, and how race still functions to keep someone in her “place.” (The word “octoroon” means “one-eighth black.”) Content includes mature language and themes and is not recommended for children.
Performances are as follows:
- Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m.
Pre-show discussion panels with university faculty on melodrama, Louisiana Creole culture, racial stereotypes in popular media, and other issues relevant to An Octoroon and our times will take place 6:45-7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 1:45-2:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Post-show discussions with director Stacy Pendergraft and the actors will be after the Thursday and Friday shows.
Ticket are $10 for general admission; $5 for faculty, staff and students; and $5 for military and seniors. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the theater’s box office from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, by calling 501-569-3456, or online at https://ualr.edu/theatre/season/
Pre-show speakers and topics:
- Wednesday, Feb. 21 – “Racial Stereotypes vs. Self-representation in American Popular Media and the Visual Arts,” with Brad Cushman, Edma Delgado, and Erin Fehr, 6:45-7:15 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 22 – “Intersections of Race, Gender, and Performance” Candrice Jones, Kristina McAbee, and Jana McAuliffe, 6:45-7:15 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 23 – “Antebellum Creole Culture and Melodrama” with Brian K. Mitchell and Lawrence D. Smith, 6:45-7:15 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 25 – “Legacies of the Delta Slavery Economy” with John Kirk, 1:45-2:15 p.m.