Dillard University Theatre Department presents its first play of the season: “Topdog/Underdog.” Written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Dillard’s own Ray Vrazel, “Topdog/Underdog” is a comic fable of brotherly love and family identity.

“It’s a very hard-hitting, ‘street’ engaged drama,” said Vrazel, assistant professor.

The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them by their father as a joke. The play foretells a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment.

“Topdog/Underdog” was the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama. Its award winning cast starred Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def. Dillard’s upcoming cast in this two person play includes Devin McCoy (Lincoln) and Martin Bradford (Booth).

“Booth goes hard,” said Martin Bradford. “This is to say he’s interesting with a lot of layers. He’s like the brother from hell- high strung.”

According to Backstage, the actors’ resource, “the issues are gripping, the characters dynamite; [its] a must-see play,” in reference to the award winning play.

“Topdog/Underdog” will be the only show of the fall semester. Other upcoming plays to look forward to in the school year include two acts by August Wilson: “Gem of the Ocean” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Vrazel, celebrating his second year in the theatre department says he hopes to build up an audience through black theatre art.

“I’m excited about doing these plays,” said Vrazel. “I’m excited to be here to feel the new direction of the university and be apart of a change to make things better.”

The play will have its opening night Friday Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. in the Cook Theatre. Its closing performance will be Nov. 4. Later in November, the play will be entered in the American College Theatre Festival, Region IV, to be held on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.