Much has been said and documented about the legacy of the late, heroic Martin Luther King Jr. and his monumental fight for civil rights in America in the 1960’s. But in playwright Katori Hall’s award-winning play The Mountaintop, a fictionalized conversation with a maid at the Lorraine Motel exposes the person behind the legacy and how sometimes a great man is also simply a human being.
The night before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. returns to the Lorraine Motel after having delivered his last impassioned speech ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’. A mysterious maid (Camae) delivers his room service, though she seems to have more on her agenda than a simple meal. As their conversation progresses, true intentions come to light in a story written to humanize Dr. King, to help us understand that you don’t have to be superhuman to be a hero.
NYC Equity guest actors J. Jerome Rogers and Crystin Gilmore join guest director and CofC theatre professor Gary Dewitt Marshall in bringing this unique perspective to life with Footlight Players opening February 10th at the Queen Street Playhouse. Jerome Rogers is a New York based actor and studied musical theatre at The University of Memphis with some of his favorite credits including Macbeth (Macbeth), Romeo & Juliet (Lord Capulet), The Color Purple (Mister) and Choirboy (Headmaster Morrow). Crystin Gilmore, also a NYC based actor originally from Memphis, is no stranger to Charleston appearing in several productions with neighboring theatre Charleston Stage including Hairspray, The Seat of Justice and most recently Black Pearl Sings. Both actors will be making their Queen Street Playhouse debut with The Mountaintop.
The Mountaintop is written by Katori Hall, a playwright, screenwriter, director and actress also from Memphis, TN. She also wrote the book for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hot Wing King.
The heavy Memphis connection that runs through the production began with Footlight Players’ Executive Director Brian Porter and Artistic Director Kyle Barnette who met at the famed Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN. This is where they first met Crystin and appeared in shows with the actress. J. Jerome is also a native of Memphis who Crystin brought to the theatre company’s attention for the role of MLK. The play taking place in the city and the playwright also being from Memphis makes this a very special production for all involved!
By Katori Hall
at the Queen Street Playhouse, 20 Queen Street
Show dates: Feb. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, & 25 at 7:30pm // Feb. 12, 19 & 26 at 3:00pm
Tickets at footlightplayers.net or by calling the box office at 843.722.4487
*The Mountaintop contains adult language and content. This performance may contain smoking of tobacco free cigarettes.
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