I’ve been a fan of Corey Hawkins for forever, so I was thrilled when he agreed to play Lincoln in my play Topdog/Underdog last year. Some actors get up onstage and—it’s OK to be just OK. But that’s not an option for Corey.
It’s hard for a brother, for a Black man, to be living in this world today. While there are so many opportunities open—the challenges are also bigger than ever before. And for Corey to be that powerful and that vulnerable onstage, in front of a live audience, night after night, takes tremendous talent and skill. When we won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play this spring, I said that Corey “played every night like there was no tomorrow.”
People just don’t do that—artists too often play it safe. But Corey, onstage every night, took all the risks. He went to those deep places artists don’t come back from. And he came back, every night. And that, to me, is the mark of a genius-genius artist.
Corey is also a righteous brother to work with. He is joyful, honorable, and he is brave. Corey is excellence and inclusion. So when you bring in Corey Hawkins you’re going to get both.
Parks is a Pulitzer-winning playwright and screenwriter
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