In 2016 Roy Alexander Weise, now Joint Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, directed Katori Hall’s powerful play THE MOUNTAINTOP at the Young Vic. Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement this Olivier Award-Winning play is an intimate fictional look at the eve of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Now in June 2020, to bring communities together through incisive storytelling and because BlackLivesMatter, Roy Alexander Weise, in partnership with Desara Productions and the Royal Exchange Theatre, reunites Gbolahan Obisesan and Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo for a new digital reading of this important play to raise funds to support the legal costs incurred by those incarcerated whilst protesting. THE MOUNTAINTOP will be streamed for free on the Royal Exchange’s YouTube channel on Wednesday 10 June at 7.30pm and will be available until Monday 15 June.
Roy Alexander Weise said…
'COVID-19 is the latest pandemic to strike but we’ve all been dodging a virus for centuries; the sickness of Racism. The structures have been more acutely illuminated in our country and more blindingly so in America but the pain and rage felt by Black people around the world today is NOT new. The deaths and violence are NOT new. For Black people, I offer this story for catharsis. I see you. I grieve and scream and feel and do with and for you. For white people it's an opportunity to listen, really listen and to learn; with your families and those you are connected to.
THE MOUNTAINTOP is a call to arms. The world is watching us all. What will YOU do? HERE. IN THIS COUNTRY. We are on the cusp of something that could change the story of humanity and the quality of life for every human being to walk the earth from this point forward. We all have a part to play. As we think on the life of Dr King, may we also think of the lives lost and those sacrificing theirs right now for the lives of all our children and their children yet to come.'
Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement this Olivier Award-Winning play is an intimate look at the eve of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A sexy, sassy, foul-mouthed maid, Camae, brings him a cup of coffee and the night takes an unexpected turn.
The reading will be introduced by Katori Hall and Roy Alexander Weise. Information about how and where to donate will be published alongside the reading.
Memphis-native Katori Hall is an Olivier Award-winning playwright and the creator and showrunner of P-VALLEY, a new Starz drama based on her play Pussy Valley. She’s also the bookwriter and co-producer of West End and Broadway hit, TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. Katori’s latest piece, THE HOT WING KING, premiered Spring 2020 at the Signature Theatre. She is, perhaps, best known for THE MOUNTAINTOP. The play, which fictionalizes the last night in Martin Luther King’s life, won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010 before opening on Broadway in October 2011 to critical acclaim. Katori’s other works include the award-winning HURT VILLAGE, HOODOO LOVE, SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING, OUR LADY OF KIBEHO and THE BLOOD QUILT. She is also the director of the award-winning short, ARKABUTLA.
The creative team for THE MOUNTAINTOP included Set and Costume Designer Rajha Shakiry, Lighting Designer Lizzie Powell, Sound Designer George Dennis, Video Designer Nina Dunn, Movement Director Jenni Jackson, Fight Direction Bret Yount, Voice Coach Hazel Holder.
THE MOUNTAINTOP was a JMK Trust and Young Vic Co-production, produced in association with Desara Bosnja.
Photographer credit: David Sandison