Interconnecting Images: Symbolism in Topdog/Underdog

“Entering the mythical, multilayered world of playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is a bit like poring over the pages of Joyce for the first time,” wrote The Boston Globe arts reporter Patti Hartigan. “Each word resonates a thousand different ways; images interconnect in the most astonishing — and perplexing — combinations. She creates a world of curious contradictions.” Rich and sometimes vibrantly chaotic, Suzan-Lori Parks plays are often anchored by just a few choice images. While these visual markers create a sense of cohesion within the play, the use of highly resonant symbols allows for a multiplicity of interpretations — for both the characters and the audience.

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