(BOSTON) – Tony Award winner Billy Porter will return to the Huntington to direct next seasons Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks. Mr. Porter directed the Huntington’s 2015 production of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum and is currently performing on Broadway in Wolfe’s production ofShuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. Topdog/Underdog will perform March 10 – April 9, 2017 at the BU Theatre/Avenue of the Arts.

“I am over the moon about returning to the Huntington with such an important work,” says Director Billy Porter. “I am humbled that both Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Suzan-Lori Parks have entrusted me to interpret this material for a new generation. I promise to make you proud!”

In Topdog/Underdog, Lincoln and Booth are brothers: best friends and bitter rivals. Lincoln, a former 3-card monte hustler, works as a Lincoln impersonator in a shooting gallery; Booth is an aspiring grifter. He tempts his brother to get back in the game, but the consequences could be deadly. Suzan-Lori Parks made history as the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama with this darkly comic, deeply theatrical fable about family wounds and healing bonds. The New York Times calls it a “thrilling comic drama. Dazzlingly written!”

Billy Porter
 is the 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle award winner for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Lola in the Best Musical Tony Award winner Kinky Boots. He returns to the Huntington after directing The Colored Museum in 2015. Most recently he appeared on Broadway in George C. Wolfe’s Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. His one-man show Ghetto Superstar (2005 GLAAD Media Award nomination, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Performer of the Year 2003–2004) debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh. His directing credits include CompanyHAM: A Musical Memoir with Sam Harris; The WizBeing Alive: The Soul of SondheimTwilight In ManchegoOnce on This Island (NAACP Theatre Award winner for Best Direction); The Soul of Richard RodgersFive Guys Named MoeAltar BoyzRent (Associate Director, Off Broadway revival); Patina Miller Live at The Delfonte Room (London); and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder (starring Chaka Khan). His new Broadway album, Billy’s Back on Broadway (Concord Records) was released last April. As a playwright, he was represented Off Broadway last fall with the premiere of While I Yet Live starring S. Epatha Merkerson (Primary Stages). A Pittsburgh native, he received his BFA in drama from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a graduate of UCLA’s professional program in screenwriting.


The Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre company and a cornerstone of Boston’s theatre community. The Huntington helps drive the local economy, enhances education for youth in Boston and across the Commonwealth, and helps build a vibrant, thriving community on the Avenue of the Arts and in the South End. The Huntington Theatre Company draws 200,000 audience members a year to its two venues – the BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End. The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA was Boston’s first new theatre complex since 1925, and in addition to serving as the Huntington’s home for new plays, it services as an artistic hub for dozens of smaller theatres, performing groups, and community organizations each year.


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