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Broadway's TOPDOG/UNDERDOG Delivers Exclusive Talkback to NYC Public School Students

On January 11th, NYC public school students and teachers had the unique opportunity to participate in an exclusive conversation with the leads of the critically acclaimed production of TOPDOG/UNDERDOG. Peter Avery of the NYC Department of Education moderated a discussion with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Corey Hawkins about their acting process, experience working in different mediums, and their collaboration with each other. Abdul-Mateen II told the students in attendance “I really hope that everyone in here has that voice inside of them that tells them they are special…and if you don’t have that voice, I’m here to be that voice to tell you that you are.”

This special event hosted by TOPDOG/UNDERDOG in partnership with the Situation Project and Stellar, provided students with a rare opportunity to dive deep into questions of artistry and industry with professional actors at the height of their craft. In addition to the in-person attendance at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, teachers and students tuned in to the conversation with Abdul-Mateen II and Hawkins via the Stellar virtual platform.

Many students in attendance were able to see Topdog/Underdog prior to the talkback through the ticketing program Student Seats. This ticketing initiative, in partnership with New York City Department of Education Arts Office, Community Colleges, and not-for-profit educational opportunity programs, provided fully funded tickets to student groups. Situation Project was proud to contribute to this effort that resulted in welcoming over 4,000 NYC students to see the production free of charge.

TOPDOG/UNDERDOG has received widespread acclaim for its powerful and thought-provoking depiction of race and identity. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Kenny Leon, the production had been hailed as a "tour-de-force" and a "must-see" by critics. Abdul-Mateen II and Hawkins brought their dynamic performances to the forefront as Lincoln and Booth, two brothers who were struggling to find their place in a world that often pits them against each other.

To learn more about TOPDOG/UNDERDOG visit To learn more about Stellar visit To learn more about Situation Project and their work to connect students with arts and cultural experiences visit