One main question I had was, how in the world is this play staged? Reading it makes it sound very confusing, but I can’t picture how it could have actually been staged at all.
What is the reason for the odd stage directions? BJJ is giving a sort of commentary in them – is this commentary meant for the audience at all?
What was the reason for Brer Rabbit? He doesn’t really interact onstage, other than wandering in occasionally to observe what is going on, or to look at the audience. What does the addition of Brer Rabbit do for this play?
First off, I just want to say that there is so much going on in this play — I’m glad we’ll get to discuss it together. I barely know where to start.
What does the tripling of roles in An Octoroon add to our conversation about identity and encounter within minstrelsy?
With our knowledge about theatre and the uses of drama from our course, what is BJJ trying to say when he writes, “I’m a ‘black playwright.’ I don’ t know exactly what that means.” How does this introduction affect how we treat the play that follows?
A big deal is made out of the camera and how its relevance to the play doesn’t age well. Does this say something about modernity and its relationship to the play’s themes? Or maybe the development of theatre?
What do the bees represent in the Prologue? How does the Prologue work to frame the play and how would the play be different without it? Does Jacob-Jenkin’s use of comedy add to the messages that he is putting forth in the play?
In the fourth act, BJJ and Playwright remark that the fourth act of the play is the most important and holds the most potential. Why did Branden Jacob-Jenkins choose to interrupt the play and derail it in the fourth act if it is supposedly the most important? What comes across in allowing BJJ and the playwright back onto the stage?
As the last text that we are reading, how does this compare to the others and what does it tell us about the Black and Green Atlantic? Where does it fit? What texts are the most similar to it and what are the least?
I have attached a link to my presentation below. Hope you guys enjoy!
- What does the addition of the Prologue in An Octoroon do for the play as a whole?
- Does the slave dialogue remind you of other work that we’ve seen (Especially in Act 3)
- BJJ believes that Boucicault’s original ending is the best version, and how Boucicault intended the play to be seen. What does that tell you about the evolution of theater?
- Given what we’ve seen the past few weeks, if you are of the culture you are portraying, are you exempt from “crossing the line”?
Does the disjunction between Irish Americans and the Irish in Ireland highlight the similarities and appropriate gestures between African Americans and the Irish, especially through the lens of the Civil Rights movement?
How do Irish artists activate this space or gesture without misstepping or mislabeling their own circumstances? Can they at all? Or will there always be some element that doesn’t fit?
Why does Doyle make the choice to validate Joey in the film, when as we discussed in class, his lack of credibility is key to Doyle’s conceptualization and contrast of the working class Dubliners?
Concerning the differences between the movie and the story, is Joey really more credible in the movie? Or is he just discredited in different ways?
Why did the movie choose to show more of the aspects of Ireland and make less gestures towards African Americans? How would it have been different if the film was more like the book? If the book was more like the film? Would it change the audience’s reception of either?
Are gestures from the Irish destined to fall short or suffer some kind of problematic disconnect? In connecting themselves to the black experience, are they really trying to reject colonialism and failing to mimic the colonizers (Onkey 4)?