Biko Eisen-Martin (Booth) makes his MTC debut with Topdog/Underdog. Originally from San Francisco, he has appeared in the Bay Area in Fuku Americanus at Intersection for the Arts, Radio Golf at TheatreWorks, 365 Plays/365 Days at Z Space, Patricide Revisited at SF Theatre Fest, Clockwork Orange at Renegade Theatre, All God Chillun Got Wings at the Eugene O’Neill Festival and Basha at Brookside Repertory Theatre. Regionally, Eisen-Martin has appeared in The Brothers Size, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Three Sisters at Chautauqua Theatre Company in New York; Ruined, The Liar, To Kill a Mockingbird, Christmas Carol and Taming of the Shrew at Denver Center Theatre Company; King Lear, Our Town and Taming of the Shrew at Colorado Shakespeare Festival; Fucking A at Brown University; Liliane at Brown University’s Rites and Reason Theatre; Uncle Vanya, Richard III, Nicholas Nickleby, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Our Town, Charlie’s Aunt, Farenheit 451, The Big Chill and Topdog/Underdog at National Theatre Conservatory. He has also appeared in the film Poetic License. Eisen-Martin is a graduate of the National Theatre Conservatory (MFA) and Brown University (BA/MAT).
Bowman Wright (Lincoln) makes his MTC debut in Topdog/Underdog. He was last seen in A Raisin in the Sun at the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York. His other regional credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at La Jolla Playhouse, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow at Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, The Piano Lesson at Virginia Stage Company, Since Africa and A House With No Walls at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia and Fences at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, (MFA) and the University of the Arts (BFA).
Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright) won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. MTC previously produced staged readings of two of her plays in 2007 as part of its New Works Series – In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist) and 365 Days/365 Plays, which was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide that year, making it one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history. Her other plays include The Book of Grace, Venus (1996 Obie Award for Playwriting), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Father Comes Home from the Wars, Fucking A, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award for Best New American Play) and The America Play. Parks has written the screenplays Girl 6 for Spike Lee and Their Eyes Were Watching God, an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, for ABC’s “Oprah Winfrey Presents,” as well as the novel Getting Mother’s Body. Her work is the subject of the PBS film The Topdog Diaries. She has also directed Topdog/Underdog at Two River Theater Company in New Jersey (September 2012) and acted in The Making of Plus One.
Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” Parks is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. She is the recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a CalArts’s Alpert Award in the Arts and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. Parks teaches at NYU, and is currently at work on her second novel and performing her experimental solo show, Watch Me Work, at the Public Theater, where she serves as Master Writer Chair. Her Ray Charles musical, Unchain My Heart, is scheduled to premiere on Broadway within the coming year. Parks is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and New Dramatists.
Timothy Douglas (Director) makes his MTC debut with Topdog/Underdog. His directorial work has previously been seen in the Bay Area at Berkeley Rep (Valley Song), Magic Theatre (Cowboys #5) and A.C.T. Conservatory (Ah Wilderness, Raised in Captivity and Good Breeding). Off-Broadway, he has directed Alloy Theater Company’s Brönte: A Portrait of Charlotte, which is currently running at the Actors’ Temple Theatre, and Oslo Elsewhere’s Rosmersholm. Douglas directed the world premiere of August Wilson’s Radio Golf at Yale Rep and Much Ado About Nothing at Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. As associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, he directed numerous projects, including three Humana Festival premieres and the 25th anniversary production of Crimes of the Heart. He served as a director in residence at Center Theatre Group, resident director at New Dramatists and assistant stage director on Handel’s Rodelinda for Virginia Opera. Regionally, Douglas has directed at Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Downstage in New Zealand, Guthrie Theater, the Juilliard School, Milwaukee Repertory Theater (where he is an artistic associate), Pittsburgh Public Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company in North Carolina, Portland Center Stage, Round House Theatre in Maryland, Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. As an actor he has appeared regionally, off-Broadway and on television. Douglas is a graduate of Yale School of Drama.
Mikiko Uesugi (Scenic Designer) makes her MTC debut with Topdog/Underdog. She has designed scenery for Certitude and Joy for Erling Wold’s Fabrications and the Paul Dresher Ensemble; Language Rooms and Night Over Erzinga for Golden Thread Productions; Food Stories, Angel Face, 4 Adverbs, Epiphanies, Immortal Heart and The Fall River Axe Murders for Word for Word; Fat Pig, Salome and Betrayal at Aurora Theatre Company; Ambition Facing West at TheatreWorks; Peer Gynt and The Importance of Being Earnest and The Beaux Stratagem at A.C.T. Conservatory; Let My Enemy Live Long! at Berkeley Rep; and Body Familiar, Brönte and A Common Vision at Magic Theatre. She is a recipient of the 1998-2000 National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Designers, the Dean Goodman Choice Award and the Isadora Duncan Dance Award.
Kurt Landisman (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for over 40 of MTC’s productions, including Othello, the Moor of Venice, Seven Guitars, Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, Happy Now?, Equivocation, Lydia and The Seafarer. His lighting designs have been seen at most Bay Area theaters including A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, Center REP, San Francisco Opera, Cal Shakes, Magic Theatre and TheatreWorks. He has received numerous San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and Drama-Logue awards. Nationally, Landisman’s designs have been seen at Arizona Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Virginia Opera, Tulsa Opera, Ballet Arizona, Guthrie Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse, as well as Off Broadway at Circle Rep and Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. His association with playwright Sam Shepard included the world premieres of True West and Fool for Love. Internationally, his designs have been seen in Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai. kurtlandisman.com
Callie Floor (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for MTC’s productions of Seven Guitars (Bay Area Critics Circle Award,) Fuddy Meers, 9 Circles, Sunlight, boom, My Name is Asher Lev, Magic Forest Farm, Lydia, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Jacques Brel and The Subject Tonight is Love. Her work was most recently seen in Salomania at Aurora Theatre Company and Spunk! at Cal Shakes. She has designed for many Bay Area theaters including A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Magic Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe and West Bay Opera. She is currently working on How to Write a Book for the Bible for South Coast Rep and Sailing Away for Zaccho Dance Theatre. Floor is the resident designer for the California Revels and currently holds the position of Costume Rentals Supervisor for A.C.T. She has a BFA from the University of Utah and a Higher Diploma in Theatre Design from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.
Composer & Sound Designer
Chris Houston (Composer and Sound Designer) is a pianist, composer and sound designer. He has designed sound for MTC’s productions of Othello, the Moor of Venice, The Glass Menagerie, Bellwether, Seven Guitars, Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, Fuddy Meers, Seagull, Happy Now?, In the Red and Brown Water, Equivocation, Sunlight, boom, My Name is Asher Lev, Magic Forest Farm, Lydia, The Seafarer, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Love Person, A Streetcar Named Desire, said Saïd and Lovers & Executioners. Locally, his designs and compositions have been featured at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, Center REP, Magic Theatre and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.
Seren Helday (Properties Artisan) is resident props artisan for MTC. She has
provided props for all productions since 2008. She has also provided props for A.C.T., Center REP, Cal Shakes and SF Playhouse. She spent one year as Master Carpenter at New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco, building some 30 shows for their season. Helday was also technical director of the Live Theatre Workshop in Tucson in addition to working as a designer, performer and manager.
Jonathan Templeton (Stage Manager) has stage managed MTC’s productions of Circle Mirror Transformation, God of Carnage, Othello, the Moor of Venice, A Steady Rain, The Glass Menagerie and Seven Guitars. He has worked in Chicago on Good Boys and True, ‘Art’ and four seasons of First Look Repertory of New Work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Trust, Fedra, Argonautika, The Brothers Karamazov, Great Men of Science, The Shaggs, 1984, The Old Curiosity Shop, Black Diamond and Around the World in 80 Days at Lookingglass Theatre Company, where he is a production affiliate; Loving Repeating, Execution of Justice and Wedding Play at About Face Theatre; and Orpheus Descending at American Theatre Company. He also spent two summers with Weston Playhouse in Vermont. Templeton is a graduate of Northwestern University.
* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association
+ Member, United Scenic Artists
^ Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers