Central Square Theater announces that Underground Railway Theater, one of the resident companies, has been awarded the rights to Katori Hall's The Mountaintop which finished an extended Broadway run in January. This production will now replace Tanya Barfield's Blue Door in the previously announced 2012-2013 Season.
By Katori Hall
January 10 - February 3, 2013
Presented by Underground Railway Theater
April 3, 1968. Having just delivered his magnificent oration "I've Been to the Mountaintop," at Mason Temple in support of a sanitation workers' strike, Reverend DR. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. A maid comes to his door with coffee. An unlikely relationship is forged that ventures into the political and personal, compelling him to confront his destiny and the fate of the nation on the eve of one of the most critical moments in American History. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop is presented in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
"I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there"
"…in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today…. in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed."
- quotes from DR. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
"I Have Been to the Mountaintop" - April 3, 1968
"Underground Railway Theater has always been drawn to theater that responds to the moment. 2013 is the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. What do we do to mark it? When the opportunity came to stage Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, we seized it," commented Underground Railway Theater Artistic Director, Debra Wise. "We are excited about how audiences in London and New York have been both inspired and moved by this provocative play that imagines King's humanity, celebrates his vision, and asks us what we are going to do to take
up the baton. Katori Hall has written a poetic, funny and moving piece of American theatre. We look forward to performing The Mountaintop in Cambridge during Dr. King's birthday, honoring both the man and the icon, and motivating our participation in his legacy."
Katori Hall (playwright) is a playwright/performer from Memphis, TN. Hurt Village won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was a finalist for the Ruby Award. The script is being adapted into a film and was developed at the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Hall'splays include: The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play), which recently ran on Broadway at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Children of Killers (National Theatre, UK), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theatre), Remembrance (Women's Project), Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, The Hope Well, 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 Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a NYFA 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, UK's The Guardian, Essence, Newsweek and The Commercial Appeal. Hall is an alumna of the Lark Playwrights' Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop and a graduate of Columbia University, the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, and the Juilliard School. She is a proud member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the Dramatists Guild, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.