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Race and stereotypes explored in Theatre UCF’s An Octoroon

photo  Theatre UCF presents a timeless tale of race as a social construct and the love that exists if looked past it. An Octoroon will be held in the Black Box starting on Thursday, November 9 and runs through Sunday, November 19. An Octoroon follows the story of George, the heir apparent to his uncle’s plantation, who falls in love with a beautiful octoroon named Zoe and their struggle to be together.

  David Reed, assistant professor of Acting and Directing, chose to direct this piece because of its innate theatricality.

  “There is a sense of great play involved in this show,” Reed explained. “It is also incredibly timely. Theatre is a unique tool for storytelling and there is a reason why some stories are best told live in a theatre space that cannot be told in the same way through any other form of media. This is one that is inherently a piece of theatre.”

  Reed is focused on leaving the audience thinking when they exit the theatre.

  “If you are not thinking by the time you walk out of that theatre, you have turned something off in your head,” Reed said. “It is certainly a piece that will hopefully allow the audience to consider the world around them in a different way.”

  Arius West, a senior Theatre student and actor in An Octoroon, describes his time working on the play.

  “Being an actor in An Octoroon has been hard. It’s been a process,” explained West. “Being a black actor specifically in this play has been a little jarring. You don’t want to see racism, but this show thrusts it right in your face.”

  West also talked about his hopes for the audience as they watch the production.

  “The audience should know they may be offended,” West said. “However, if you stay to listen and watch and try to absorb what is being said, the takeaway from this show is a catalyst for discussion about anything.”

  The show will be performed on the more intimate Theatre UCF Black Box stage. On opening night, audience members are invited to join the cast and creative team for a post-show reception.

  Tickets are available for $20 for the general public and $10 for those with a valid UCF ID. They can be purchased online at http://theatre.cah.ucf.edu/tickets.php or at the box office.

  For more information about Theatre UCF and the UCF School of Performing Arts, visit http://performingarts.cah.ucf.edu.      

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