Bursting with big ideas, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG earned Suzan-Lori Parks distinction as the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2002. Directed by Kent Gash, who helmed the Elliot Norton Award-winning production of PACIFIC OVERTURES, with scenic design by 2004 Tony winner Eugene Lee.
A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke. The younger of the two, Booth, wants to be a legendary three-card monte street hustler like his brother. Lincoln has given up the street life to go legitimate as an Abraham Lincoln impersonator at an arcade. He dresses up in a beard, paints his face white, dons a stove-pipe hat, and allows patrons to “shoot” at him as if they were John Wilkes Booth. This thrilling comic-drama digs deep into the existential dilemmas of being African-American and male in the United States. Exploring how history defines us, the play tells a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment.
Photo: Kes Khemnu and Joe Wilson, Jr. Photo by Christopher Oquendo