Lark Presents THE MOUNTAINTOP Workshop Production 4/29-5/2
This month, the Lark Play Development Center will present a BareBones® production of THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall (Hoodoo Love). This workshop production comes as the next stage of development for the play, which was part of the Lark's 2007-08 Playwrights' Workshop program led by Lark Playwright Advisor Arthur Kopit. It is being directed by Kamilah Forbes (Artistic Director, Hip-Hop Theatre Festival) and features Jordan Mahome and Dominique Morisseau. The performances will take place at the Lark Studio from April 29-May 2; tickets are $10 presale ($15 at the door) and may be purchased through www.larktheatre.org, 866-811-4111.
The Mountaintop takes place on April 3, 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. retires to room 306 in the Lorraine Motel. Through a humorous and irreverent hotel maid who visits him during the night, we see beyond the mythical icon to a man struggling with his place in a movement that will outlive him.
About the play, Hall says,"It's a play that I feel is my responsibility to write. A baby of the post-civil rights era, I have profited greatly from King's legacy: I was the first African-American valedictorian in 1999 of a Memphis high school that had been desegregated in 1973, I have been educated at Ivy League schools, had sleepovers with white girlfriends, and can sit anywhere on a bus I damn near please. However, though I have certainly benefited, I sit stalled on the side of the mountain, wondering 40 years after King's murder, have we made it to the mountaintop? I think not."
According to Lark Producing Director John Clinton Eisner, "Katori Hall is the real thing. In her few short years as a playwright, she has written several extraordinary plays that take on important social and political issues while never failing to tell the stories of real human beings. She writes about the present moment, but always within the context of history and its meaning. Whether she is writing about urban blight, women in the work force, or Martin Luther King's last night alive, she is talking directly to each one of us about how we lead our lives."
BareBones® are simply staged, fully rehearsed public presentations of plays in the final stages of development. A BareBones® is the culmination of a comprehensive development strategy and 100 hours of rehearsal in advance of the public presentations. Please visit www.larktheatre.org for more information and ticketing details.
A laboratory for new voices and new ideas, the LARK PLAY DEVELOPMENT CENTER provides playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work. The Lark brings together actors, directors, playwrights and the community to allow writers to learn about their own work by seeing and hearing it, and by receiving feedback from a dedicated and supportive community. The company reaches into untapped local populations and across international boundaries to seek out and embrace unheard voices and diverse perspectives, celebrating differences in language and worldviews. The Lark also plays a leading role in advancing unknown writers and their works to audiences through carefully stewarded partnerships with a host of theaters, universities, community-based organizations, and NGOs, locally, nationally and globally. The Lark is led by Producing Director, John Clinton Eisner, Managing Director, Michael Robertson, and Artistic Program Director, Megan Monaghan.
Katori Hall - An award-winning playwright, who has been published as a book reviewer, journalist, and essayist in publications such as The Boston Globe, Essence, and Newsweek. She is a 2007 winner of the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, 2006 recipient of the New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, 2005 winner of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and a 2006 participant of the Royal Court Theatre NYC Residency. In October 2007, Hoodoo Love world premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre, where it was developed under Lynn Nottage as part of the theatre's 2006 Mentor Project. Hoodoo Love received three 2006 AUDELCO nominations (incl. August Wilson Playwright Award). Her second play, Hurt Village, was featured in the 2007 Classical Theatre of Harlem Future Classics Reading Series and work shopped at the BRIC Lab. She is currently writing commissions for Fluid Motion Theater & Film and the Irish Repertory Theatre. Screenwriting credits include a co-adaptation of Mud, River, Stone. Hall is a proud member of the Women's Project Playwrights' Lab in New York City. Other plays include: Remembrance (Women's Project/World Financial Center site-specific work), Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (Mama Mosaic/Producer's Club), Freedom Train (KCACTF 10 minute play national finalist), the one-act Awake (Minor Latham Playhouse, NYC), Bougie Dreams (Columbia University), and Diaspora, a one-woman show fused with music and poetry that she performed in Cape Town, South Africa. On the Chitlin' Circuit and Oreogirl: The Miscegenation of Miss Emma Brown, were given intern readings at the 2005 Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference where she was a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow. She graduated undergrad 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 with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. She is currently at Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Program.
Kamilah Forbes has been acknowledged through numerous awards, fellowships and various publications for her efforts as a passionate and dedicated director with a unique vision. Currently one of Kamilah's most recent directorial works, "Scourge" (starring Marc Bamuthi Joseph) is touring nationally and is about to begin its international tour in Belgium starting in January 2007. The project premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Kamilah can also be found directing Roger Bonair Agard's solo performance "Masquerade."