PlayMakers, Triad Stage to Present THE MOUNTAINTOP, Begin. 9/18

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This fall, two of North Carolina's leading theater companies, PlayMakers Repertory Company and Triad Stage, will co-produce the regional premiere of "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall. The play focuses on the last night in the life of DR. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is the theater companies' first collaboration of this kind.

PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present the play as its Mainstage Season opener Sept. 18-Oct. 6.

Then the production will move to Greensboro to be presented by Triad Stage Oct. 20-Nov. 10

Set on April 3, 1968 in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel, the story unfolds on the historic last night in the life of the civil rights icon. A visitation from a mysterious woman leads him to confront his innermost thoughts and fears on the stormy evening before his assassination. A triumphant and surprising celebration of the human in history unfolds as King's visitor guides his way through the dangers and the joys of the journey to "The Mountaintop."

"The Mountaintop" premiered in London (2009) to great critical acclaim, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play. A hit Broadway run followed, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. The Independent (London) called it "breathtaking, hilarious and heart-stopping." Variety said "The Mountaintop" is "emotionally powerful and theatrically stunning."

The PlayMakers-Triad Stage co-production offers the region a unique opportunity to experience this innovative and moving play throughout the fall. The production will be directed by PlayMakers associate artist Raelle Myrick-Hodges, who helmed a hit production of "A Raisin in the Sun" at PlayMakers last season. Billy EuGene Jones will star as Martin Luther King Jr. and Lakisha May will perform the role of Camae.

The PlayMakers performances will be in the Paul Green Theatre at UNC's Center for Dramatic Art, 250 Country Club Road in Chapel Hill. For information, call (919) 962-PLAY (7529) or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Tickets are currently available as part of PlayMakers' 2013-2014 subscription packages. Single tickets will go on sale in late July.

Triad Stage performances will be at The Pyrle Theater, 232 South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro. For information, call the Triad Stage Box Office at (336) 272-0160 or toll-free at (866) 579-TIXX (8499), or visit www.triadstage.org. Tickets are currently available as part of Triad Stage's 2013-2014 Season Pass package. Single tickets go on sale August 5.

Based in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas' premiere resident professional theater company.

Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit theater company based in Greensboro's downtown historic district.

Both theaters have been named among the "Best Regional Theatres in America" by New York's Drama League.

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