If the weirdly antique terminology of An Octoroon gives you pause—it refers to a person who is one-eighth black—that’s because this is a contemporary deconstruction of Dion Boucicault’s melodrama The Octoroon, which packed ’em in in Dickens’ day.
Through copious use of fourth-wall breakage and white-, red- and blackface, this Obie award-winning 2014 play from rising New York-based playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has concocted a provocative theatrical experience that uses the form’s conventions to comment on racial issues.
Piloted by a cast and crew of Seattle’s own ascending theater stars, including director Brandon J. Simmons, set designer Julia Welch and lighting designer Matthew Webb, it’s another show in ArtsWest’s season-long exploration of outsiders.
Times and prices vary. ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, West Seattle, 4711 California Ave. SW; 206.938.0963.