Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Acting and Directing

Committee Chair

Laura Hitt

Committee Co-Chair

Irene Alby

Committee Member

Jay Malarcher


The playwright Suzan Lori-Parks is known for writing intense, psychological plays featuring mostly characters of color who have depth and emotional richness. Topdog/Underdog is a prime example of this. The play features two brothers who live in a cramped apartment and deal with issues of their past and their relationship with each other. I would like to argue that portraying Lincoln in the West Virginia University production of Topdog/Underdog was an intense and rewarding process where I had to consider race and what it means to be performing this play with the state of our country at the time, utilize acting techniques learned during my time at WVU, find the musicality of the language, find the separation between character and actor and perform a contemporary play that audiences can relate to, no matter what their skin color or background is. Through script analysis and table work, the characters and their relationship were fleshed out between the two actors and the director. Utilizing Meisner, Laban and Fitzmaurice technique allowed me to delve into the mindset of the character.