A Powerful Play Honoring #MLK50
April 10, 2018
On April 14, the Center for the Arts welcomes back L.A. Theatre Works with a touring production of The Mountaintop. Featuring only two actors in the roles of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a hotel maid, this profound play has earned acclaim and accolades such as the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Play. It comes to our venue at a relevant time in which the world gathers to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis. What happened inside that room on the night before remains a mystery. Playwright Katori Hall uses this unknown as a starting point to imagine what may have transpired overnight between the Civil Rights leader—portrayed by Gilbert Glenn Brown—and Camae, a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid—played by Karen Malina White.
Hall has said, “it was really important for me to show the human side of King. During this time, he was dealing with the heightened threat of violence, he was tackling issues beyond civil rights—economic issues—and was denouncing the Vietnam War. So, I wanted to explore the emotional toll and the stress of that. King changed the world, but he was not a deity. He was a man; a human being like me and you. So, it was important to show him as such: vulnerable.”
The Mountaintop is rife with humor and political jabs, while giving a glimpse at the human side of Dr. King. Hours after his famed final speech, punctuated by the immortal line “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” audiences will join the Reverend as he reveals his hopes, regrets, and fears.
L.A. Theatre Works
Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 8 p.m.
This article was developed in collaboration with Lucy Pollack Public Relations & Baylin Artists.