By: Thomas Southerne (1660-1746)
Oroonoko tells the story of a prince who is betrayed and enslaved, ultimately leading to his tragic demise. Written in a captivating prose style and filled with poignant themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the brutality of colonization, this novel is a powerful commentary on the injustices faced by the African diaspora. The character of Oroonoko is beautifully depicted, with his strength, honor, and resilience shining through despite the hardships he faces. The novel also raises important questions about power dynamics and the impact of violence on both the oppressed and the oppressors. Overall, Oroonoko is a gripping and thought-provoking read that sheds light on a dark chapter in history.
Based on Aphra Behn's 1688 novel , Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko is seen by scholars today as the driving force that kept Behn's work from fading into obscurity. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was considered even more popular than the novel, presenting theatergoing audiences with a highly touching tale of pathos and tragedy involving the eponymous prince-turned-slave and his undying devotion to his beloved wife, Imoinda. However, in this version, unlike in Behn's novel, Imoinda is a white woman, and there is also a comic subplot involving the husband-hunting Welldon sisters that caters to Restoration tastes . This production presents the play as it was first written, and in doing so, brings to the fore a number of interesting themes, such as the importance of individual liberty; the infallibility of true love; and the quick wit and determination of strong, independent women. Summary by Tomas PeterCast List:Oroonoko: ToddHWAboan: Larry HayesLieutenant-Governor of Surinam / Slave: Algy PugBlanford: Tomas PeterStanmore: Jason in PanamaJack Stanmore: KurtCaptain Driver: Roger MelinDaniel Lackitt / Hottman / Second Planter: NemoImoinda: Sandra SchmitWidow Lackitt: Leanne YauCharlotte Welldon: Beth ThomasLucy Welldon / Women Slaves: SoniaFirst Planter: Melanie TThird Planter: PaezraFourth Planter: Thomas A. CopelandSinging Slave: Alan MapstoneServant: Devorah AllenNarrator / Women Slaves: Eva DavisEditor: Tomas Peter