Around the Hood: Octagon Opens at Jackalope October 25th

Jackalope’s 9th season kicks off with the U.S. premiere of Octagon, written by Kristiana Rae Colón, directed by Tara Branham with the full cast and production team announced below.

Octagon runs October 19 – November 20, 2016 at
Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N Broadway in Chicago.
The press performance is Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $5 – $25, and are on sale now via



The cast for Octagon features Mykele Deville (Chimney), Sydney Charles (The Watcher Named Pen), Travis Delgado (Tide), Eric Gerard (Palace), Ryan Hallahan (Atticus), Will Kiley* (Chad), KiKi Layne (Prism), and Tina Muñoz-Pandya (Jericho).

The production team for Octagon includes: Shaun Renfro (scenic design), Claire Sangster* (lighting design), Mieka Van der Ploeg (costume design), Jeffrey Levin (sound design), Lacie Hexon (props design), Ricardo Gamboa (dramaturg), Sasha Smith (fight and sex choreographer), Nikki Patin (slam expert), Christopher Cvikota (assistant sound design), Endia Brown-Bey (assistant costume design), Slick Jorgensen (master electrician), Ashley Osborne (technical director), Danielle Stack* (production manager), Emily Lowney (assistant production manager), Charlotte Drover (associate director), Jyreika Guest (assistant director), Elana Boulos* (casting director), Mary Kate McAlpine (assistant stage manager), and Jay Epps (production stage manager).

* denotes Jackalope company member

Kristiana Rae Colón (playwright) is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow and executive director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective. Her play Octagon, winner of Arizona Theater Company’s 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater’s Dionysos Festival of New Work, had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London in September 2015. Her work was featured in Victory Gardens Theater’s 2014 Ignition Festival.  In 2013, she toured the UK with her collection of poems promised instruments published by Northwestern University Press. In autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London. Colón is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.”

Tara Branham (director) is a Chicago based director and casting director. She is thrilled to be directing Octagon at Jackalope Theatre. Recent credits include: Bars and Measures by Idris Goodwin at Prop Thtr, good friday by Kristiana Rae Colón at Oracle Theatre, and Twisted Knots by Dale Danner with Chicago Commercial Collective. Tara has worked previously with Step Up Productions, Pride Films & Plays, Prologue Theatre Company, Babes with Blades and Halcyon Theatre. Tara has assistant directed for Tina Landau, Andreas Mitisek, Kip Fagan, Amy Morton, Kimberly Senior, Sean Graney, Lisa Portes, and Meghan Beals-McCarthy at various theatres including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Actors Theater of Louisville, and Chicago Opera Theater. She is the Director of Casting for Step Up Productions and Pegasus Theatre Chicago.