Jordan McGinnis and Michael Alexander in “Topdog/Underdog" at the QC Theatre Workshop -- November 8 through 18.

Thursday, November 8, through Sunday, November 18

QC Theatre Workshop, 1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport IA

Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, author Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog will make its area debut at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop November 2 through 18, the show's riveting exploration of African-American experience called “an utterly mesmerizing evening of theatre” by Variety magazine, with the New York Times adding that the play “vibrates with the clamor of big ideas, audaciously and exuberantly expressed.”

Also a Tony Award nominee for Best Play, Topdog/Underdog centers on brothers Lincoln and Booth, names given to them by their father as a joke. Older brother Lincoln sits in an arcade all day, dressed as his presidential namesake, and spends his days being assassinated over and over again. Younger brother Booth, meanwhile, stays in their run-down apartment practicing to be a great three-card Monte hustler, as Lincoln was in his younger days. As Lincoln and Booth contend with their relationship and their specific places in society, the play emerges as a poetic, funny, and moving look at the endgame between black brothers in modern America, with Parks' achievement making her the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. As the author said of her work, “I think the meaning of the play isn't just confined to a man's experience … . I think it's about what it means to be family and, in the biggest sense, the family of man – what it means to be connected with somebody else.”

Serving as Topdog/Underdog's director is longtime Workshop veteran Lis Athas, a frequent stage manager for the company who appeared as a performer in last fall's Almost, Maine and is making her directorial debut with this production. Lincoln is portrayed by Jordan McGinnis, whose own credits for the Workshop include directing Almost, Maine and appearing in such presentations as Peter & the Starcatcher, Inheritors, and The Big Meal. And Booth is played by Michael Alexander, a castmate in this past June's Workshop musical Reefer Madness and co-star in the Black Box Theatre's recent War of the Worlds: A Radio Play.

Topdog/Underdog runs November 8 through 18 with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m on Sundays. Admission is “Pay What It's Worth” ticket pricing, and more information and reservations are available by calling (563)823-8893 or visiting

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