The Mountaintop

“[King] always said, ‘I’m a sinner. Not a saint.’ That is the King you will see in ‘Mountaintop.’ . . . It was important to see the humanity in this hero so we can see the hero in ourselves.” -Katori Hall

The Mountaintop is a theatrical re-imagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. The play is set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis the evening before King’s memorable “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech. While a storm rages outside, a mysterious young maid, Camae, delivers room service and a message.

With vivid theatrical imagination and powerful emotion, playwright Katori Hall beautifully fictionalizes the final hours of Dr. King’s life in this Olivier Award-winning drama about leadership, legacy and mortality. Speaking about her play, Hall said “King had vulnerabilities and fears. This is a man that provided a fundamental shift in American society. King forced us to see people of color are not second-class citizens; they are equal. He did this extraordinary thing. But he wasn’t superhuman.” This play incorporates strong language into the text.

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Katori Hall

Hall graduated from Columbia University and was awarded top departmental honors from the university’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies. Hall went on to graduate from the American Repertory Theater’s Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting, and graduated from the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace playwriting program.

The Mountaintop, premiered in London in 2009 to great critical acclaim and won the best new play award at the Laurence Olivier Awards in March 2010. The win made her the first black woman in history to win the Olivier Award for Best New Play. In September 2011, The Mountaintop opened on Broadway starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. Other plays include Hoodoo Love, Remembrance, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!!, Our Lady of Kibeho, Hurt Village and Pussy Valley.

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