COURT THEATRE PRESENTS
THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF KATORI HALL’S
DIRECTED BY RESIDENT ARTIST RON OJ PARSON
Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert present The Mountaintop written by Katori Hall, and directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson. The Mountaintop will run September 5 – October 6, 2013 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue.
Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play
On the eve of his assassination, a weary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returns to his lonely hotel room in Memphis. Restless, he begins to work on his next speech when he’s suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a young hotel maid named Camae. The two strike up an unlikely conversation and as the hour grows late and Dr. King’s fate presses closer, Camae reveals that she is more than she appears. The Mountaintop offers a beautiful and powerful meditation on mortality, destiny, and the liminal space where the material meets the divine. Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson will direct this new portrayal of Dr. King.
“The Mountaintop is one of the most extraordinary plays I've had the pleasure of encountering in recent years, and as soon as I first read it I knew instantly that it should open Court Theatre's fifty-ninth season. Court's intimate space is perfectly suited to the quiet power of Katori Hall's play, and under the incisive direction of Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson, this Mountaintop has the potential to really sing as it would nowhere else,” says Artistic Director Charles Newell. “Not only am I proud to present the Chicago premiere of The Mountaintop, I'm grateful and truly moved that Court Theatre has the opportunity to explore, through the art form of drama, the life and legacy of such a crucial figure of our time.”
Previews are September 5 – September 13, 2013. Curtain times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $35 to $45 for preview performances; $45 to $65 for regular run performances. Tickets are available at the Box Office, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online at www.CourtTheatre.org. Student and senior discounts available. Groups of 10 or more may purchase discounted tickets by calling Kate Vangeloff at 773-834-3243.
The Mountaintop is sponsored by Allstate, and Ron OJ Parson’s artistic residency is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation.
The cast of The Mountaintop is David Alan Anderson (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and Lisa Beasley (Camae).
The creative team includes Scott Davis (scenic design), Melissa Torchia (costume design), Sarah Hughey (lighting design), Victoria Delorio (sound design), Martine Kei Green-Rogers (dramaturgy). William Collins is the Stage Manager.
David Alan Anderson (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) is making Court Theatre debut with The Mountaintop. He is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, sponsored by the Ten Chimneys Foundation (tenchimneys.org). A resident of Indianapolis, he is a frequent performer with the Indiana Repertory Theatre, where his many credits include The Whipping Man, Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Romeo and Juliet, The Heavens are Hung in Black, A Christmas Carol, the title role in Julius Caesar, and the one man show Looking Over the President's Shoulder. He is a company member with the critically acclaimed Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN, where his credits include King Hedley II, Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running, and Jitney. Regional credits include Troy in Fences at Denver Center, Walter Lee in A Raisin in the Sun at The Guthrie, Penumbra, Cleveland Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Co., and Kansas City Rep, Othello at Great Lakes Theatre and Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Kent in King Lear and Othello at Pennsylvania Shakespeare, and Sebastian in The Tempest at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Other credits include Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage Lake Tahoe Shakes, St. Louis Black Rep., and Peoples Light and Theatre. Directing credits include Most Valuable Player and The Color of Justice at Indiana Rep, and Topdog/Underdog and Two Trains Running at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. He also works in film and television and does voiceover work.
Lisa Beasley (Camae) is making her Court Theatre debut with The Mountaintop. Her recent credits include eta Creative Arts Foundation - Field of Souls (Ruby) and Flow (Will Power); Black Ensemble Theatre - The Marvin Gaye Story (Ensemble), One Name Only (Tanika), The Other Cinderella (Margarite), and From Doo Wop to Hip Hop (Nina), and a company member with Black Ensemble Plays With A Purpose and The High School Series. Originally from Gary, IN, Lisa is a graduate of The LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN with a B.A. in Classical Jazz Studies and also attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of Los Angeles.
Now in its 59th season, Court Theatre is guided by its mission to discover the power of classic theatre. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at the University of Chicago continuing to discover the power of classic theatre. Court Theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Productions are made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and by a City Arts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Court Theatre is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American Theatre; the League of Resident Theatres; the Illinois Humanities Council; the Arts Alliance Illinois; the League of Chicago Theatres; and Hyde Park Cultural Alliance.
Title: The Mountaintop
Written by: Katori Hall
Directed by: Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson
Dates: Previews: September 5 – September 13, 2013
Regular run: September 15 – October 6, 2013
Schedule: Wed & Thurs: 7:30 PM
Fridays: 8:00 PM
Saturdays: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM
Sundays: 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM
Location: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Tickets: $35-$45 previews
$45-$65 regular run
Box Office: Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or www.CourtTheatre.org
Notes of Interest:
- Hall’s The Mountaintop won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Notable international productions include the critically-acclaimed James Dacre-directed London production at Theatre 503 and Trafalgar Studios, and the subsequent 2012 Broadway production starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L Jackson.
- Saturday, August 28 marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “March on Washington.” In commemoration of the event, the DuSable Museum will be reenacting the March, to include a portion of Dr. King’s seminal “I Have a Dream” speech read by David Alan Anderson who portrays Dr. King in Court Theatre’s production of The Mountaintop.
- Hall’s plays include Hoodoo Love, which was produced Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City; Remembrance, which won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Award; Saturday Night/Sunday Morning; WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!!; and Pussy Valley. She has also been published as a book reviewer, journalist, and essayist in publications such as The Boston Globe, Essence, Newsweek and The New York Times. She was a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow at the O’Neill.