Photo Flash: First Look at TheatreWorks' THE MOUNTAINTOP
THE MOUNTAINTOP journeys beyond realism to explore the last evening of DR. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches - a passionate oration supporting the Memphis sanitation workers' strike in which he declares, "I have been to the Mountaintop" - an exhausted Dr. King retires to Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. Camae, an effervescent and beautiful motel maid, arrives with Dr. King's coffee, but it soon becomes clear that she is not what she appears to be. When she reveals some surprising news, King is forced to confront his life, his legacy, and the future of his people.
For the regional premiere of this poignant drama, TheatreWorks welcomes AdrIan Roberts as "Rev. DR. Martin Luther King, Jr." and Simone Missick as "Camae." Bay Area audiences may recognize Roberts from his roles in productions at Magic Theatre (Tough Titty) and San Francisco Playhouse (First Person Shooter). Off-Broadway credits include "Ken" in Playboy of the West Indies (Lincoln Center Theater), with regional appearances as "Charles" in As You Like It, "Arthur" in OO BLA DEE, "Antenor" in Troilus and Cressida, and "Fedotik" in The Three Sisters, (all at Oregon Shakespeare Festival), "Commander Osembenga" in Ruined (La Jolla Playhouse), "Gower" in Henry V (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), "Lucien P. Smith" in The Boys Next Door (Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre), and roles at Sacramento Theatre Company, Capital Stage, B Street Theater, Willows Theatre Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, and Dallas Theater Center. Roberts' television credits include co-starring roles on Trauma, Criminal Minds, Scrubs, and Brothers & Sisters, with film appearances in Death Ride, Out for Blood, and Close to Home.
Missick, who was most recently featured in the acclaimed In the Red and Brown Water at Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, has appeared in a variety of roles at The Lost Studio, White Buffalo Theatre Company, Whitefire Theatre, Two Roads Theater, Plowshares Theatre Company, St. Clair Shores Players, and Eastpointe Theatre Company. She has guest-starred in Nickelodeon's television series Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventure, as well as the Hallmark Channel Original Movie A Taste of Romance. Other film credits include The Road to Sundance, Look Again, and Douglass U. A graduate of the British American Drama Academy, Missick is currently writing and producing her own series of one act plays as well as a web TV series.
The TheatreWorks production of THE MOUNTAINTOP includes scenic design by Eric Sinkkonen, costume design by Jill Bowers, and lighting and video design by Jason H. Thompson, and sound design by Gregory Robinson.
Playwright Katori Hall's The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play) received its Broadway debut in 2011 at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Hall's other works include Hurt Village (2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Signature Theatre), Children of Killers (National Theatre, UK and Castillo Theatre, NYC), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theatre), Remembrance (Women's Project), Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Our Lady of Kibeho, and Pussy Valley. Her awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, the Arena Stage American Voices New Play Residency, The Kate NeAl Kinley Memorial Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award. Hall's journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Essence, The Commercial Appeal, and UK's The Guardian, and includes contributing reporting for Newsweek. Currently a member of the Residency Five at Signature Theatre Company in New York City, Hall is an alumna of the Lark Playwrights' Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop, and a graduate of Columbia University, the A.R.T. at Harvard University, and the Juilliard School.
Multiple award-winning actor and director Anthony J. Haney returns to TheatreWorks to direct THE MOUNTAINTOP. In addition to serving as the company's Associate Artistic Director in the 1980s, Haney has directed TheatreWorks Productions of Intimate Apparel and Crowns, as well as a commercial revival of Crowns at San Francisco's Marines Memorial Theatre. He also directed Snatched, a musical adaptation of the horror film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and musical tributes to Ben Vereen, Della Reese and Ruby Dee at The Nate Holden Theater in Los Angeles. His numerous acting credits with TheatreWorks include the post-Broadway premiere of Grey Gardens, "Roosevelt Hicks" in Radio Golf, "John Merrick" in The Elephant Man, "Troy Maxson" in Fences, "Levee" in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and "Benedick" in Much Ado About Nothing. Other onstage roles include "Sam" in Master Harold...and the Boys at Rubicon Theatre Company and "King Billy" in Daisy in the Dreamtime at [Inside] the Ford, and starring roles in acclaimed extended runs of Central Avenue and Oyamo's I Am a Man (which he also directed) for The Fountain Theatre. He has also appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as with the San Francisco Mime Troupe (National Tour).
With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country. A home for artists developing new works, it was at TheatreWorks that Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award-winning musical that played on Broadway for three years before embarking on its current national tour, was first workshopped and received its world premiere.For tickets ($23-$73) and information the public may call (650) 463-1960 or visit www.theatreworks.org. Note: Contains mature language.
Photo Credit: Tracy Martin