Everyman Theatre to Stage TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, 4/24-5/19


Everyman Theatre continues its season of award-winning Baltimore Premieres with the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, playing April 24th through May 19th, 2013. The production will feature Everyman Theatre Resident Company Eric Berryman and Everyman veteran KenYatta Rogers in the two-person cast. Well-known and respected DC director, Jennifer L. Nelson, will helm the production.

Two African-American brothers named Lincoln (KenYatta Rogers) and Booth (Eric Berryman) were left to live life on their own without any parents, learning to survive as street savvy hustlers. Now grown men, their names and their histories haunt them. Lincoln becomes an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, shot nightly by tourists at a local attraction, while Booth tries to pick up his brother's card skills. The brothers find themselves constantly conning those on the street and, ultimately, each other in this darkly funny fable about family grievances, racism, deep wounds and healing.

Full of passion and poetry, Topdog/Underdog is by one of North America's most consistently thought-provoking playwrights, Suzan-Lori Parks. She became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Topdog/Underdog. She was also named one of Time Magazine's "100 Innovators for the Next New Wave."

"It has always surprised me that Topdog/Underdog hasn't played in Baltimore before," says Artistic Director Vincent Lancisi. "I think this is such an important play for Baltimore audiences to see. I was riveted by KenYatta and Eric's renditions when they were simply sitting around the table and reading aloud from the Suzan-Lori Parks' genius script. I knew this was a play that Everyman needed to produce in the first season in our new home."

Resident Company Member Eric Berryman will play younger brother Booth. After his performance as Asagei in the 2011 smash hit, A Raisin in the Sun, Artistic Director Vincent Lancisi offered him a spot in the Resident Acting Company.

"Eric Berryman is one of the most gifted and skilled performers I've ever had the pleasure to know and work with," says Mr. Lancisi. "His ability to transform is astounding - a perfect asset for Everyman's Resident Company." Mr. Berryman has performed at the Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and Kuntu Rep, among others. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Mr. Berryman will be joined on stage by KenYatta Rogers, who was also seen in A Raisin in the Sun as Walter Younger. MR. Rogers' impressive resume includes work at Arena Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, the African Continuum Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Ford's Theatre and Olney Theatre Center.

Jennifer L. Nelson will be directing the production. She has directed several times at Everyman Theatre, including the recent productions of A Raisin in the Sun, The Soul Collector and Gem of the Ocean. Regionally, she has also directed at theatres such as Hangar Theatre, African Continuum Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Imagination Stage, Rep Stage, Woolly Mammoth and more. She is the Director of Special Programming at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC and the former Artistic Director of the African Continuum Theatre. Rounding out the artistic team is Set Designer James Fouchard (A Raisin in the Sun, Stick Fly, Shooting Star), Lighting Designer Colin Bills (The Mystery of Irma Vep), Costume Designer LeVonne Lindsay (Time Stands Still, The Brothers Size, A Raisin in the Sun), Resident Sound Designer Chas Marsh (August: Osage County, The Brothers Size, Pygmalion), and Resident Fight Choreographer Lewis Shaw (God of Carnage, August: Osage County).

Topdog/Underdog runs from April 24th through May 19th, offering performances Wednesday through Sunday, with selected Tuesday evening performances.

Single tickets for Topdog/Underdog are now on-sale and range in price from $10 - $60. 3-Play subscriptions are also currently on sale to the public and range in price from $83 - $143.

Everyman Theatre is a professional theatre company dedicated to celebrating the actor, with a resident company of artists from the Baltimore/DC area. Seeking connection and emotional truth in performance, Everyman Theatre was founded in 1990 by Vincent Lancisi. The theatre is committed to engaging the audience through a shared experience between actor and patron, and to presenting high quality plays that are affordable and accessible to everyone.
Vincent Lancisi is the Founder and Artistic Director of Everyman Theatre; Ian Tresselt is the Managing Director.

For information about Everyman Theatre, visit www.everymantheatre.org or call 410.752.2208.

The Cast:
Eric Berryman - Booth
KenYatta Rogers - Lincoln

Artistic Team:
Jennifer L. Nelson Director
James Fouchard Set Design
Colin Bills Lighting Design
LeVonne Lindsay Costume Design
Chas Marsh Sound Design
Lewis Shaw Fight Choreographer
Kyle Prue Director of Production
Amanda M. Hall Stage Manager
Naomi Greenberg-Slovin Dramaturg

Pay What You Can Performance: Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:30 PM
Pay-What-You-Can tickets are available for Tuesday, April 23rd and can be purchased in person at the Everyman Theatre Box Office (315 W. Fayette Street) starting at 5:30 PM on the day of the performance. Call 410.752.2208 or visit www.everymantheatre.org for more details.

Opening Night Performance: Friday, April 26th at 8:00 PM
Mingle with the staff, cast and crew at a lively post-show cast reception. For tickets, call 410.752.2208. *Members of the press are invited to this event. Contact Laura Weiss at 443.615.7055x7132 or lweiss@everymantheatre.org to make reservations. *

Post-Show Talk Back Discussion: Thursday, May 16th (following the 7:30 PM performance)
A post-show Talk Back with the play's actors will be held immediately following the show on May 16th. Call 410.752.2208 or visit www.everymantheatre.org for more details.

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