The award-winning drama “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall at Philadelphia Theatre Company Jan. 18-Feb. 17
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man and The Rev., the leader merge in Katori Hall's award-winning drama The Mountaintop, receiving its Philadelphia premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company on January 18-February 17 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad and Lombard Streets). Directed by Patricia McGregor, the two-person cast features Sekou Laidlow and Amirah Vann.
Previews begin Friday, January 18 with Opening Night on Wednesday, January 23. Performances run Tuesday through Sunday until February 17. Tickets starting at $46 are available by calling the PTC Box Office at 215-985-0420 or visiting PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org. Philadelphia Theatre Company's Suzanne Roberts Theatre is located at Broad and Lombard Streets.
Set in Memphis on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop imagines the events that might have taken place the night before the assassination of Civil Rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After delivering his magnificent "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, an exhausted and defeated Dr. King retires to Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel where he encounters a mysterious and spirited stranger as an epic storm rages outside.
The Mountaintop received its world premiere in London at Theatre 503 before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in the West End, winning the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play. It then premiered on Broadway in 2011, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.
"We are so proud to be giving Katori Hall her Philadelphia premiere. Although she paints a respectful and vulnerable portrait of Dr. King at a crossroads in his life, her voice is an imaginative and audacious one and her sense of theatricality is thrilling and unexpected," said PTC's Producing Artistic Director Sara Garonzik. "Producing The Mountaintop in a year that commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the iconic "I Have A Dream" speech is the most fulfilling way a theater can celebrate Dr. King's legacy and we are honored to be doing so through the vision of this rising playwright and her equally talented director and collaborator, Patricia McGregor."
According to playwright Katori Hall, "King changed the world, but he was not a deity. He was a man, a human being. So it was important to show him as such: vulnerable."
She continued: "When my mother was 15 years old, Dr. King came to speak at Mason Temple in Memphis, and she wanted to go and see him. She lived around the corner of the Lorraine Hotel and had seen King speak before. But this time, her mother told her no because she had heard through the grapevine that someone was going to bomb the church. So this play comes out of my mother's missed opportunity."
PTC's 2012-2013 season continues with Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (March 15-April 14) and the Tony nominated black comedy Venus in Fur by David Ives (May 24-June 30). PTC will also hold its annual new play festival, PTC@Play from February 18-March 3.
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