Topdog/Underdog is a play that was written by Suzan-Lori Parks and premiered in 2001 in New York City. This play was well received, having won Parks the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as collecting a few other awards. Suzan-Lori Parks is an author, specifically a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. She was the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
The main characters are two African American brothers named Lincoln and Booth. Their life is not easy, as they struggle with many aspects of life and temptations. Their marriages are falling apart and their financial situation is not good because both gamble unsuccessfully most of the time. As a result, Lincoln becomes a shoplifter. Topdog/Underdog is a different play that what Parks usually wrote. Her language changes into a more simple, colloquial tone, and it is clear that she admires Abraham Lincoln and his legacy. In addition, she uses her characters to show that a quest forces one to examine stories and experiences and history to find and shape one’s own legacy.