Jeff Augustin's play The Last Tiger in Haiti is premiering in a co-production at La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep. Jeff’s plays have also been produced at the Roundabout Underground (Little Children Dream of God) and Actors Theatre of Louisville (Cry Old Kingdom, Humana 2013; That High Lonesome Sound, Humana Apprentice Anthology 2015). His work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, and Seattle Rep. Jeff was the Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and the inaugural Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout. He is an alumni of the New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship; Rita Goldberg Playwright’s Workshop at the Lark; and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Jeff is currently under commission from Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. BA: Boston College, MFA: UCSD.
In Haiti, at night, entire villages gather around fires and candlelight to listen to folklore whispered by a single storyteller. My family carried that tradition with them to America. I am the youngest of seven; my sister and I are the only two born in the states. I grew up listening to magical and fantastical stories, many based on religious and voodoo figures. I never knew what was real or supernatural, or if the supernatural was just as real as I. In these stories, characters were constantly running from their family and their land in search for a new identity. But in a world where spirits, deities, and God guide life, these characters were bound to their destinies.
These oral and mythical traditions have heavily influenced my writing. The other worldliness, the power of language, the poetry and rhythm are all integral ingredients in my work. I’m also interested in our collective and individual battles with history. How it defines us and how we embrace or try to escape from it.