River & Rail Theatre Company presents THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall.
Exactly what was on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mind as he sat on his scratchy polyester-covered bed, looking down at his sock feet on the bile-colored carpet at the Lorraine Motel on his last night alive? Did he have any idea what was about to happen? What would he have wanted people to know about him? Did these final hours feel holy or special in any way? Katori Hall takes a stunning look at all of these questions and fills them in with brilliant imagination in her play THE MOUNTAINTOP. A speech, a storm, a visitation, a vision: how does a hero’s journey end?
“Even before the first flash of lightning—and there will be plenty of that before evening’s end—an ominous electricity crackles through the opening moments of THE MOUNTAINTOP.” —NY Times. “[THE MOUNTAINTOP] crackles with theatricality and a humanity more moving than sainthood.” —NY Newsday. “…as audacious as it is inventive…[a] thrilling, wild, provocative flight of magical realism…Hall keeps her audience guessing…This is playwriting without a net, a defiant poke in the eye of all historical conventions and political correctness…The King that is left after Hall’s humanization project is somehow more real and urgent and whole.” —Associated Press.
About the Playwright
Katori Hall is a playwright and performer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Her award-winning play HOODOO LOVE premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2007. It was developed under Lynn Nottage as part of the theatre’s 2006 Mentor Project. HOODOO LOVE received three AUDELCO nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, August Wilson Playwright Award). Her other plays include: REMEMBRANCE, HURT VILLAGE, SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING, THE MOUNTAINTOP, ON THE CHITLIN’ CIRCUIT, and FREEDOM TRAIN (KCACTF ten minute play national finalist). Her work has been developed and presented at the following venues: the American Repertory Theatre, Kennedy Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Schomburg Center, BRICLab, Women’s Project, World Financial Center, Lark Play Development Center, New Professional Theatre, The O’Neill, the Juilliard School, Stanford University, and Columbia University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lecompte du Nouy Prize, North Manhattan Arts Alliance Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts Commission Grant, New Professional Theatre’s Writers’ Festival award, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, Royal Court Theatre Residency, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. She has also been a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow. As an actor, her credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” THE PRESIDENT’S PUPPETS (The Public), GROWING UP A SLAVE (American Place Theatre), INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL (American Place Theatre), the world premiere of AMERIKA (Theatre de la Jeune Lune/American Repertory Theatre), SPRING AWAKENING (Moscow Art Theatre School), AIN’T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH (Classical Theatre of Harlem), SCHOOLED (WOW Café Theatre), and BLACK GIRL (Sande Shurin Theatre). As a journalist, her work has been published in "The Boston Globe," "Essence," "Newsweek," and "The Commercial Appeal." She graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a major in African-American Studies and Creative Writing. She was awarded top departmental honors from the university’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS). In 2005, she graduated from the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. She is now a student in the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. She is a proud member of the Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab, the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, and the Dramatists Guild. www.katorihall.com