• Production image


january 2018 | Volume 163


Production image

  Production poster.

by Suzan-Lori Parks
Arts Club Theatre Company
BMO Theatre Centre
Jan. 18–Feb. 11
From $29
www.artsclub.com or 604-687-1644

The setting of Topdog/Underdog is noted in the script as being “here” and “now.” Indeed, the New York Times praised this work by Suzan-Lori Parks for its insight into “the existential traps of being African-American and male in the United States.”

The play follows brothers Lincoln (Michael Blake) and Booth (Luc Roderique) who share a seedy, one-room apartment and are looking for easy money in cards. Things are tight and only get tighter when their competition grows and their lies exceed their truths.

Following the play’s premiere in 2001, Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. The Pulitzer committee wrote of the play: “A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity, Topdog/Underdog tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names, given to them as a joke, foretell a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by their past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.”

Director Dean Paul Gibson says, “Working with a playwright like Suzan-Lori Parks, along with the creative artists involved in this production of Topdog/Underdog, is another reminder of why I love theatre. The poetic beauty Ms. Parks has captured in her Pulitzer Prize–winning play gives us an opportunity to witness the complex relationship of two brothers struggling to find their power amidst abject circumstances and against the odds. I find this story—with its powerful characterizations, dynamic rhythms, and deep insight into family relations—absolutely compelling on every level.”

“A deeply theatrical experience” — The New York Times

Starring Michael Blake (Lincoln) and Luc Roderique (Booth)

Director Dean Paul Gibson Assistant Director Marie Farsi Set Designer Shizuka Kai Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre Lighting Designer Itai Erdal Sound Designer Julie Casselman Stage Manager Rebecca Mulvihill Apprentice Stage Manager Tanya Schwaerzle

Jan. 18–Feb. 11, 2018 (Media opening: January 24)
Tue–Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM
Tickets from $29 at www.artsclub.com or the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644


The Arts Club Theatre Company, founded in 1964, is Canada’s largest not-for-profit urban theatre company. Led by Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd, Incoming Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran, and Executive Director Peter Cathie White, it offers professional theatre at three venues—the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre—as well as on tour throughout the province.

Website: artsclub.com
Blog: blog.artsclub.com
Twitter: twitter.com/theArtsClub
Facebook: facebook.com/theArtsClub
Instagram: instagram.com/theartsclub
YouTube: youtube.com/ArtsClubVan




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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews