The Crusader Newspaper Group

Casting announced for An Octoroon at the Victory Gardens Theater

The New 411

By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

Definition Theatre Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips and Managing Director Neel McNeill, announces casting for the first play of its 2017-2018 season, the Chicago premiere of An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria, Appropriate), produced in association with Goodman Theatre. An Octoroon is directed by Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith and runs July 21 – August 20, 2017 in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, as part of Definition’s tenure in the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. The press opening is July 24, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling the Victory Gardens box office at 773-781-3000 or at

Tyrone Phillips/Ariel Richardson

The cast of An Octoroon includes ensemble members Carley Cornelius, Kelson McAuliffe, Tyrone Phillips, and Chris Sheard with Breon Arzell, Sydney Charles, Danielle Davis, Tiffany Ogelsby, Maya Prentiss and Ariel Richardson.

The creative team for An Octoroon includes Andrew Boyce (Scenic Designer), Kristy Hall (Costume Designer), Jared Gooding (Lighting Designer), Aaron Stephenson (Sound Designer), and Jenna Meyers (Props Designer). The dramaturg is Jared Bellot.

A modern riff on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 classic melodrama, The Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie Award-winning historical satire follows a plantation in financial ruin, the tumultuous love story of its heir apparent, the evil overseer plotting to take it all for himself and the slaves trying to keep it all together. Hilarious, pointed, and provocative, An Octoroon offers up a subversive take on race in America–both then and now.

“Definition is committed to bringing high-quality work to the Chicago community that examines what it means to be American today, and we couldn’t be more excited to have Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith at the helm of Branden’s thought-provoking and resonant play,” notes Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips. “An Octoroon marks our first show as a resident company at Victory Gardens Theater. We’re thrilled to stage this milestone production at Victory Gardens as they share many of our core values and lead by example in giving a voice to the voiceless.”

Definition Theatre Company is part of the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. All performances during the 2017-2018 season will take place in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens. For additional information, visit and


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