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Actors' Theatre Presents Powerful, Award-Winning Play About MLK's Last Night

Santa Cruz County Actors' Theatre, who brings the community the annual sold-out 8 Tens @ Eight Short Play Festival, presents a full-length staged production of Katori Hall's award-winning play, The Mountaintop, opening September 29 and playing through October 15 at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Cruz.

Winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop is set at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, on the night before Martin Luther King is assassinated and on the day he delivered a speech in which he foretold his own fate, "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know that tonight, we as a people will get to the Promised Land."
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Playwright Katori Hall takes this historic date with destiny and weaves a powerful surrealistic fantasy about a conversation between King and a mysterious hotel maid who brings him a cup of coffee and prompts him to confront his life, his past, his legacy and the plight and future of African-Americans. Hall's insight, light touch and lively mood depicts King as a real man with very human foibles who was nonetheless capable of inspiring millions to hope and move toward a momentous societal shift for equality and justice.

Actors' Theatre's production features Avondina Wills and Sarah Cruse. "The Mountaintop is a mixture of fact and poetic license which reflects our times, both then and now, in the wake of social, racial and political turmoil," says director Erik Gandolfi. "Although the play takes place in 1968 it is very relevant today. It is a re-imagining of MLK's destiny, yet it pulls him off the pedestal of sainthood and delivers a vulnerable man trying to overcome the things that plague all of us - fear, destiny, and death. By the time the play is over, audiences will be thinking about how far we have come in regards to racial equality. The play gives us a light to help see clearly why we need to be a country of people who can relate to one another, not hate."

"We are so excited to be presenting this deeply meaningful play at this time," says Bonnie Ronzio, President of Actors' Theatre. "This production is a prelude to our upcoming expanded 2018 season, which will start with 8 Tens@ Eight Short Play Festival and continue with two full production during the upcoming year."



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