Bowman Wright and Joaquina Kalukango to Star in Alley Theatre's THE MOUNTAINTOP in Houston, 1/11-2/3


The Alley Theatre's production of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, produced in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington D.C., will feature Bowman Wright as DR. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joaquina Kalukango as Camae. The director is Robert O'Hara. The Mountaintop runs on the Alley Theatre's Hubbard Stage January 11 through February 3, 2013.

Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping re-imagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader DR. Martin Luther King, Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel. A provocative maid arrives to seduce the 39-year-old powerful leader. Their encounter depicts King, the man, as he confronts his fate.

Playwright Katori Hall makes her Alley Theatre debut with The Mountaintop, which received the 2010 Olivier Award in London for Best Play. Hall grew up in Memphis and enrolled the acting program when she was at Columbia University. After researching and finding few roles for young African American women, she decided to devote her life's work to creating roles for African Americans onstage. Hall continued her studies at Harvard University and Juilliard School. It was when she was at Juilliard that she first had the idea of creating a play about DR. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in front of the Lorraine Motel, just around the corner from where her mother was raised.

Discussing the inspiration for her play, Hall says that "as a historical figure, King has been shrouded in so much myth that it's intriguing to make him flesh and blood." In her re-imagining of Dr. King's last night at the Lorraine Motel, she explains that "It is not the 'I have a dream' King. It's a King that is radical." "King changed the world but he was not a deity. He was a man, a human being like me and you." "I wanted to depict not only Dr. King's triumphs but also his struggles. He achieved such great things, but he is grounded in a very human existence."

"The Alley is pleased to join with one of our sister theatres, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C, to bring to our audiences Katori Hall's compelling, powerful play. Hers is a brilliant new voice in the American theatre," says Artistic Director Gregory Boyd.

The Mountaintop features scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos and lighting design by Japhy Weidman. Sound design is by Lindsay Jones with projection design by Jeff Sugg and Dramaturg Jacey Little.

The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall and directed by Robert O'Hara, begins performances Friday, January 11, opens officially Wednesday, January 16, and runs through Sunday, February 3, 2013 on the Hubbard Stage, located downtown at 615 Texas Avenue.

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