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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2018 / January 

‘The Mountaintop’ imagines Martin Luther King Jr.’s final night

January 19, 2018

The Mountaintop
Actors Karen Malina White and Gilbert Glenn Brown star in the L.A. Theatre Works production of "The Mountaintop."

Author Katori Hall imagines what might have transpired the night before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside of his hotel room in Memphis in “The Mountaintop.”

L.A. Theatre Works bring Hall’s story to life on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. Presented by the Moss Arts Center, the performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. What happened inside room 306 the night before is a mystery. In this internationally acclaimed play, author Katori Hall envisions what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play, “The Mountaintop” uses humor and political jabs to provide a glimpse at the human side of Martin Luther King Jr. Hours after his famed final speech, punctuated by the immortal line, “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” King reveals his hopes, regrets, and fears, creating a masterful bridge between mortality and immortality. “The Mountaintop” premiered in London in 2009 and subsequently ran on Broadway, starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson.

Presented by Susan Albert Loewenberg, producing director for L.A. Theatre Works, and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, this production of “The Mountaintop” will feature film, television, and stage actors Karen Malina White and Gilbert Glenn Brown.

White has received two NAACP Image Awards, as well as the L.A. Drama Critics Award and the L.A. Ovation Award. She has been seen on screen in “Lean On Me” with Morgan Freeman and in numerous independent films, such as “The Ties That Bind” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” Her television credits include “The Cosby Show,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Living Single,” “Animal Kingdom,” and “VEEP,” among many others.

Brown is an accomplished stage actor with credits ranging from the Goodman Theatre to True Colors Theatre Company to the National Black Theatre Festival. Television appearances include “Stranger Things,” “Valor,” “C.S.I. Miami,” “Cold Case,” “The Shield,” and others. On film, he has been seen in “Best of Enemies,” “Dreamgirls,” “Drumline II,” and “Raising the Heights.”

Please note that this program contains some mature language.

L.A. Theatre Works plays are broadcast weekly in the U.S. on public radio stations, daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network, streamed online, and aired on additional international outlets. The group has brought recorded dramatic literature into the homes of millions and takes its show on the road, delighting audiences with its unique live radio theatre style performances. Today, L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection includes more than 500 classic and contemporary titles — the largest library of its kind in the world.

ColorsVA is the media sponsor for this event.

Tickets

Tickets for the performance are $20-$45 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kacy@vt.edu during regular business hours.