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Pulitzer-winning play "Topdog/Underdog" comes to FMU, Nov. 10

            FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University Artist and Lecture Series and FMU’s Honors Program will present a Nia Company production of the play "Topdog/Underdog," the winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Thursday, Nov. 10.

            The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the McNair Science Building auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

            "Topdog/Underdog" is a darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity. It tells the story of Lincoln and Booth – brothers whose names were given to them as a joke by parents who abandoned them long ago, and who are now crammed together in a tiny apartment with little more than years of resentment and a three card monte game as company. Haunted by their past, the brothers are forced to confront the reality of their empty future.

            A reviewer for the Philadelphia City Paper described the play as "a series of nesting boxes rich in American iconography. Some of it is, of course, related to history and politics, but perhaps less than you might expect. Topdog’s overarching motives – brother against brother, the legacy of parental sins, macho turf wars fueled by failures with women –  belong to a larger and more colorblind world of drama."

            The play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks, is the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama. She is the author of numerous plays, including "In the Blood" and "Venus" and is currently head of the Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts. "Topdog/Underdog" has been produced on Broadway (with Don Cheadle and Mos Def) and many times around the country and in Europe.

            The Nia Company is a production company affiliated with Trustus Theatre in Columbia, formed primarily by alumni of Trustus’ African-American acting workshop.

            For more information, call FMU English professor Jon Tuttle at 843-661-1521 or Darion McCloud of Nia at 803-556-1942 or 803-553-2536.

#69 / 10-28-05
Last Published: February 22, 2007 9:13 AM
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