What is Dion Boucicault’s THE OCTOROON?

What is Dion Boucicault’s THE OCTOROON?

The Soho Repository
New York, New York

James Leverett, Professor (Adjunct) of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism
Yale School of Drama

Professor of Dramatic Criticism James Leverett from The Yale School of Drama joins us in this video to give context and background to Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama The Octoroon. In our next mainstage play, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has radically reshaped the original to dizzying meta-theatrical effect.

Boucicault’s play courted immediate controversy when it debuted in the US. The play examines race, slavery, gender, and the 19th century’s perception of these themes; in other words, a prime play for Jacob-Jenkins (author of the blistering Neighbors and current Appropriate at Signature Theatre) to explore.

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