Shakespeare and Company Presents TOPDOG/UNDERDOG
Shakespeare & Company presents MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient Suzan-Lori Parks' pulitzer prize-winning play, Topdog/Underdog directed by the distinguished Regge Life, who helmed the Company's acclaimed razor sharp comedy God of Carnage in 2017.
Topdog/Underdog is a dynamic comedic drama running from August 13 to September 8 in the Tina Packer Playhouse.
"Topdog/Underdog is one of the most powerful and moving plays from the theater; and in my opinion it's Suzan-Lori Parks' greatest work," said Director Regge Life. "What makes the play so special and important is in the way she has chosen to show what it means to be an African-American man in the U.S. today. Like Ralph Ellison did with Invisible Man in the 1950's, peeling away the outer layer of the African-American man, the surface that you encounter day to day, to reveal the core that existentially faces the traps of an uncertain and precarious life in the American experience, Topdog/Underdog updates this story with flair and honesty through the lives of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers who, like the historical characters they were named after, are predestined by their history."
Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her Broadway hit Topdog/Underdog. This darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity is Parks' original riff on the way we are defined by history. The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
With her trademark explosive language, Suzan-Lori Parks explores the deepest of connections, and what it means to be a family man. Shakespeare & Company's production of Topdog/Underdog stars Bryce Michael Wood (Lincoln) and Deaon Griffin-Pressley (Booth). Led by Director Regge Life the creative team includes Hope Rose Kelly (Stage Manager), Maegan A. Conroy (Assistant Sage Manager), Cindy Wade (Tech Week Assistant Stage Manager), Cristina Todesco (Set Designer), Stella Schwartz (Costume Designer), Matthew Miller (Lighting Designer), Brendan Doyle (Sound Designer), Melissa Ziccardi (Wardrobe/Assistant Stage Manager), Bob Lohbauer (Weapons Master), and Caleb Harris (Associate Technical Director).
"Suzan-Lori is a piercingly brilliant writer, whose recent production of White Noise Off-Broadway proved once again that her imperative of challenging norms and perspectives is critical in furthering conversation about who were are in this country," said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. "Topdog/Underdog established her unequivocally as a voice to be heard and reckoned with, and we're proud to present it in these times."
Tickets for Topdog/Underdog are available online at shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company's box office at (413) 637-3353. The show runs from August 13 to September 8. The Tina Packer Playhouse is indoors, air-conditioned, and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Join the Company for a free pre-show talk on August 20 at 6:45 pm for insight into the plot and characters of the play to enhance your experience. Additionally, Director Regge Life and cast members host a Director's Panel on Saturday, August 17 at 11:00 am. Tickets for the Panel can be purchased at shakespeare.org.
The Company's 2019 Summer Season also includes Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and a special workshop production of Coriolanus; plus Tony Award nominees The Children by Lucy Kirkwood, and Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies.
Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 40,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.
Photo Credit: Zachary De Silva