Avant Bard Announces Sudden Casting Change for ‘Topdog/Underdog’

Avant Bard regrets to report that Khalil Kain has had to withdraw from the cast of Topdog/Underdog due to unforeseen personal circumstances. But Avant Bard is happy to announce that Jeremy Keith Hunter has joined the production. Jeremy will play opposite Louis E. Davis in the Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy by Suzan-Lori Parks about two African American brothers grappling for destiny. The production runs from March 14 to April 14, 2019, at Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two in Arlington.

“Jeremy is well-known on local stages, and we are so excited to welcome him and his gifts to Topdog/Underdog,” said Director DeMone Seraphin. “The journey promises be an exciting one that is not to be missed.”

Jeremy Keith Hunter

Jeremy Keith Hunter makes his Avant Bard debut playing the older brother, Lincoln. Hailing out of the DMV, Jeremy is a multidisciplinary artist with a strong focus in theatre and film acting, writing, and graphic design. His previous theatre credits include The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek (Metrostage); The Farnsworth Invention (1st Stage); Rabbit Summer (Ally Theatre Company); Word Becomes Flesh (us) (Theater Alliance); Hooded or Being Black for Dummies, Milk Like Sugar, When January Feels Like Summer (Mosaic Theatre Company); Arabian Nights (Constellation Theater); and The Effect (us) (Studio Theatre).

Louis E. Davis

Louis E. Davis (playing the younger brother, Booth) was a member of the Helen Hayes Award-winning ensemble in the Theater Alliance production of Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s hip-hop choreopoem Word Becomes Flesh. His other credits include Solas Nua’s The Frederick Douglass Project (Helen Hayes Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a play), Taffety Punk’s Don Juan, Avant Bard’s King Lear, Imagination Stage’s The Freshest Snow Whyte, Mosaic Theater Company’s Charm, and Folger Theatre’s The Second Shepherds’ Play. He recently appeared in Constellation Theatre’s The Master and Margarita.

A tensely funny and dead serious tragicomedy, Topdog/Underdog is a Cain-and-Abel fable for Black America about two brothers named Lincoln and Booth. They have depended on each other since their parents left, and until recently they counted on Lincoln’s grifting to get by. Now Lincoln has gone straight, impersonating his namesake in a carnival where tourists pay to play assassin. When Booth resolves to become the greatest con man of all time, the brothers struggle over how best to play the tough hand America dealt them.

“DeMone has assembled a wonderfully talented and diverse creative team and I could not be prouder of how they have rallied to the challenge of this extraordinary play,” said Executive and Artistic Director Tom Prewitt. “There’s a reason the New York Times named Topdog/Underdog the best American play of the last 25 years: Suzan-Lori Parks has told a powerful and indelible story. I have every confidence that both Jeremy and Louis will deliver a first-rate production to our audiences.”

Advisory: This show contains strong language, adult themes, and depictions of gun violence.

Running time: About two hours, plus a ten-minute intermission.

Topdog/Underdog begins previews March 14, 2019, and runs through April 14. Performances are at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Tickets are available online or by calling 703-418-4808. Advance-purchase Pay What You Will tickets are now available online for previews.