The Mountaintop

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The Mountaintop
Written by Katori Hall
Characters Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Date premiered 2009
Place premiered Theatre 503
Original language English

The Mountaintop is a play by American playwright Katori Hall. It is a fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King's last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination on April 4, 1968.


The play premiered in London in 2009 to critical acclaim. After a sell-out run at Theatre503, the play transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End. The production was directed by James Dacre and featured British actors David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs. Harewood was nominated for Best Actor in the Evening Standard[1] and Whatsonstage Awards and Burroughs for Best Actress in the Olivier Awards.[2] The production won the Olivier Best New Play Award [2] and was nominated for Whatsonstage Awards and Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Awards.[1]

The Independent wrote that the production at Theatre 503 was "an imaginative portrayal" and shows "a relationship that is breathtaking, hilarious and heart-stopping in its exchanges and in its speedy ability to reveal character and pull the audience into the ring."[3] Theater critic Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph wrote of the production at Trafalgar Studios "It is a beautiful and startling piece, beginning naturalistically before shifting gear into something magical, spiritual and touching."[4]

The play premiered on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on September 22, 2011 with an official opening on October 13. Samuel L. Jackson made his Broadway debut in the role of Dr. King.[5] Angela Bassett was his co-star.

The play made its regional premiere at Milwaukee Repertory Theater on September 26, 2012 directed by May Adrales.

The play premiered in the Boston area at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge on January 10 and run through February 3rd, 2013. The play was presented by the Underground Railway Theater.

The Mountaintop premiered in Houston, Texas at Alley Theatre on January 11, 2013, and run through February 3. It is a co-production between Alley Theatre and Arena Stage and was directed by Robert O'Hara.

The Mountaintop was presented by Yellow Bunny Productions at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, from June 12 thru July 21, 2013. It starred Sello Sebotsane as Dr. King and Mwenya Kabwe as Camae. The director was Warone Seane, and the production designer Wilhelm Disbergen.

The Mountaintop premiered in Memphis, Tennessee at The Circuit Playhouse on January 13, 2013 and ran through February 10, 2013, a co-production between Playhouse on the Square and Hattiloo Theatre.

The play premiered with the Playmakers Repertory Company out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina in Fall 2013, and will tour around state throughout the year.

The Baltimore premiere of the play opened at Center Stage on January 16, 2013, and ran until February 24.[6]

The play premiered in Philadelphia at Philadelphia Theatre Company on January 18, 2013 through February 17, 2013. It was directed by Patricia McGregor.

The Mountaintop premiered in Portland at Portland Center Stage on August 31, 2013 through October 27, 2013.

The Chicago premiere took place on September 5, 2013 at Court Theatre at the University of Chicago, starring David Alan Anderson & Lisa Beasley directed by Ron OJ Parson.

The play had a regional premiere at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, from March 6—April 7, 2013. It was directed by Anthony J. Haney.

The Mountaintop premiered in New Orleans, LA at Anthony Bean Community Theater from November 1 through 24 starring Anthony Bean and Monica Davis and was directed by Harold X. Evans.[7]

Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY produced the play from March 31 - April 26, 2015 starring Royce Johnson and Joniece Abbott-Pratt and directed by Skip Greer.

The Mountaintop premiered in Burlington, VT at Vermont Stage Company from April 22—May 10, 2015. It starred Jolie Garrett and Myxolydia Tyler and was directed by Cristina Alicea.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jury, Louise.The Standard Theatre Awards 2009: Longlist revealed" Evening Standard, 2 November 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Olivier Winners 2010", accessed April 15, 2011
  3. Christie, Nicola."'The Mountaintop', Theatre 503, London" The Independent, 16 June 2009
  4. Spencer, Charles.The Mountaintop, at Trafalgar Studios - review" Telegraph, 31 July 2009
  5. Gans, Andrew.Samuel L. Jackson Will Climb Broadway's Mountaintop Without Halle Barry", April 14, 2011

External links