The Hangar Theatre will open its doors June 4 with its first play of the 2003 season, “Topdog/Underdog,” winner of the 2002 Pultzer Prize for Drama. Fresh on the heels of a successful Broadway run, the Hangar is proud to have won the rights to present the regional premiere of this cutting edge play about two African-American brothers named Lincoln and Booth. Look into the lives of two brothers, who were abandoned by their parents as young children, and their individual and joint struggle for survival and power. “Topdog/Underdog” takes place in the one-bedroom tenement apartment shared by the brothers, and captures the essence of the American dream and the struggle to attain that dream.
“Topdog/Underdog” will play at the Hangar Theatre from June 4 through June 14. Ticket prices range from $12 to $30 and are available at the Ticket Center at Clinton House at 116 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, and at Willard Straight Hall. Call for tickets 800-842-8422 or 607-273-4497. Tickets may also be purchased from one hour prior to curtain time at the theatre and online at www.hangartheatre.org.
Jeremiah W. Birkett, who plays the part of Lincoln, the older brother, played the part of Booth (the younger brother in the play) for a period in “Topdog/Underdog” on Broadway. Birkett has also been seen in “The Grapes of Wrath” on Broadway, as well as several off-Broadway and regional productions.
Sterling K. Brown plays the part of the younger brother Booth. Most recently he appeared in the National Actors Theatre’s production of “The Resistible Rise” of Arturo Ui starring Al Pacino.
The Hangar’s production of “Topdog/Underdog” is being directed by Jaye Austin-Williams, in her third consecutive season at the Hangar. Austin-Williams directed “Proof” in 2002 and “Having Our Say” in 2001 at the Hangar Theatre. She was a 1999-2001 NEA/TCG Career Development for Directors recipient and has directed in New York city and regionally. Austin-Williams is also a playwright and actor.