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Story/Teller Arts: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on Appropriate/An Octoroon with Jocelyn Bioh

Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT May 2, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

The Center for Fiction is thrilled to welcome one of America’s most inventive and profound playwrights, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, to celebrate the new publication of two of his plays, Appropriate/An Octoroon. Currently on Broadway in a critically-acclaimed and extended run, Appropriate unearths the buried secrets of a dysfunctional family as they gather at a former plantation home to sift through the belongings of their deceased patriarch. An Octoroon is an audacious investigation of a 1859 play about slavery with a metatheatrical, surreal punch. Award-winning Ghanaian-American writer/performer Jocelyn Bioh (Jaja’s African Hair Braiding) joins Jacobs-Jenkins in conversation. After the event, Jacobs-Jenkins will sign copies of the play.

The Center for Fiction is thrilled to continue its collaboration with Theatre Communications Group for this event, with past events featuring Jackie Sibblies Drury and Claudia Rankine; Annie Baker and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Heidi Schreck and Paula Vogel; Sarah Ruhl and Matthew Aucoin; Aleshea Harris and Nissy Aya; Lynn Nottage and Damon Tabor; Martyna Majok, Naveen Kumar, and David Zayas; Taylor Mac and Laura Collins-Hughes; Will Arbery, Chloé Cooper Jones, and Leslie Jamson; James Ijames and Jonathan McCrory; and Tony Kushner and Isaac Butler.

By registering for this co-presented event, you agree to share your information with The Center for Fiction and Theatre Communications Group.

Appropriate-An Octoroon_front cover

In Conversation

  • Branden Jacobs-Jenkins_Photo Courtesy of the Macarthur Foundation

    Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Recent theatre credits include Purpose (Steppenwolf Theater), The Comeuppance (Signature Theatre), Girls (Yale Repertory Theatre), Everybody (Signature Theatre), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre), and An Octoroon (Obie Award; Soho Rep, Theatre for a New Audience). Honors include a USA Artists Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and Performance Art, a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award from the Sundance Institute. He currently sits as Vice President of the Dramatists Guild of America and on the boards of Soho Rep, Park Avenue Armory, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. He teaches at Yale University.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Macarthur Foundation

  • Jocelyn Bioh_Photo Courtesty of Joshua Bright

    Jocelyn Bioh

    Jocelyn Bioh

    Jocelyn Bioh is an award-winning Ghanaian-American writer/performer from New York City. Her written works for theatre include: Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club, 2023), Merry Wives (Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park, PBS Great Performances, winner of the 2022 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Adaptation), Nollywood Dreams (MCC Theater), book writer for the Broadway-bound musical Goddess (Berkeley Rep, 2022), and the multi-award-winning School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play which was originally produced at MCC Theater in 2017/2018 and has gone on to have over 60 regional productions, and premiered in the UK in 2023. Jocelyn has also written for TV on Russian Doll, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Tiny Beautiful Things (Hulu), the upcoming new Star Wars series The Acolyte (Disney+), and she is also writing the live-action film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Once on This Island for Disney.

    Photo Credit: Joshua Bright

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