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Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is Remembered and Reimagined in CPH's The Mountaintop

Posted January 14, 2016 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact:

Kelly Luecke

KellyLuecke@yahoo.com

(216) 712-6292

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is

Remembered and Reimagined in Cleveland Play House’s

Powerful, Reflective and Inspired Production of

The Mountaintop

Jan. 23 – Feb. 14 in the Outcalt Theatre

Media night is Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

CLEVELAND, OH (January 11, 2016) The celebrated 100th Season of Cleveland Play House continues with the Olivier Award-winning play The Mountaintop written by renowned American playwright Katori Hall. This two-person drama is a fictional account of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the eve of his assassination. Directed by Carl Cofield, this soul-stirring story focuses on the human side of one of the most respected and revered icons in American history. Running Jan. 23 – Feb. 14 in the intimate Outcalt Theatre, The Mountaintop is a socially relevant work that is as enchanting as it is thought-provoking. CPH’s generous sponsors include Centennial Season Sponsor KeyBank and Centennial Community Outreach Sponsor Dominion. Cleveland Play House is also grateful to the George Gund Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation for their generous support of the Centennial Season.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley states, “The Mountaintop is one of the most extraordinary new plays, and its message to work for justice and carry forward the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. could not be more urgent and necessary right now in Cleveland. Playwright Katori Hall exquisitely incorporates seduction, confrontation, and humor to create a play that inspires us to look deeper at Dr. King, his message, and ourselves. It is a galvanizing call to action.”

On April 3, 1968, Nobel Prize-winning civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an inspired speech that is commonly referred to as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Unbeknownst to King, that speech would be his last. Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop revisits that date, as King unknowingly closes in on the last moments of his life. When King orders a cup of coffee in his room at the Lorraine Motel, it is delivered by a motel maid named Camae, and what follows is a reflective, often funny, often touching conversation in which Dr. King examines his achievements, his failures, and his unfinished dreams. Full of vivid theatricality, poetic language, and surprising twists, The Mountaintop delivers a portrait of the man behind the myth that is as provocative as it is beautiful.

Playwright Katori Hall notes, “I wanted to depict not only Dr. King’s triumphs, but also his struggles. He had vulnerabilities and fears. That is a man that provided a fundamental shift in American society. He did this extraordinary thing. But he wasn’t superhuman. It’s important to see the humanity in this hero so we can see the hero in ourselves.”

The Mountaintop Cast

RO BODDIE (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) recently appeared as Martin Luther King Jr. in the world premiere of Blueprints to Freedom: an Ode to Bayard Rustin at La Jolla Playhouse and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. He has worked regionally at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (The Whipping Man), Center Stage and Philadelphia Theatre Company (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Studio Theatre (Dirt), American Players Theatre (Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), and Forum Theatre (Angels in America). He has received two Helen Hayes nominations for Seven Guitars and Angels in America. Television credits include The Good Wife, Person of Interest and Unforgettable. He is a graduate of the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a proud AEA Member. roboddie.com.

ANGEL MOORE (Camae) hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is making her Cleveland Play House debut. Some of her favorite credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Intimate Apparel, A Song for Coretta, And I And Silence, Repairing A Nation, and The Mountaintop. She received her BA from Alabama State University and her MFA from Rutgers Mason Gross School for the Arts.

The Mountaintop Creative Team

KATORI HALL (Playwright) is a playwright/performer from Memphis, TN. Hall’s plays include: The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play), which ran on Broadway at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson, Hurt Village (2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Signature Theatre), Children of Killers (National Theatre, UK and Castillo Theatre, NYC), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theatre), Remembrance (Women’s Project), Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature Theatre) and Pussy Valley (Mixed Blood). 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, the Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, the Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theatre, 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 and The Commercial Appeal, including contributing reporting for Newsweek. The Mountaintop and Katori Hall: Plays One are published by Methuen Drama. Hall is an alumna of the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop and Our Lady of Kibeho, and a graduate of Columbia University, the A.R.T. at Harvard University, and the Juilliard School. She is a proud member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the Coca-Cola Scholar Program, the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild of America East and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is currently a member of the Residency Five at Signature Theatre Company in New York City. Katori will make her directing debut with a film adaptation of Hurt Village which received its world premiere at Signature in 2012.

CARL COFIELD (Director) is a New York-based director and actor. He directed the award-winning world premiere of One Night In Miami (Huffington Post best of L.A. 2013, N.A.A.C.P., L.A. Drama Critics Circle and others) for Rogue Machine Theatre and the Denver Center Theatre, for which he received the Los Angeles N.A.A.C.P award for Best Director. NYC directing credits include: the 50th anniversary of Dutchman (Classical Theatre of Harlem/National Black Theatre); The Tempest and Macbeth (Classical Theatre of Harlem/Dimona Theatre); Better Than Yellow (48 Hours In Harlem); The Seven (Connelly Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (NYU); and The Tuskegee Airman Project (CUNY York College). He assisted Molly Smith in the world premiere of Camp David at Arena Stage. He directed the reading of Camp David for President and First Lady Carter at the Carter Center retreat in Vail, Colorado. He also assisted Kent Gash on Langston In Harlem at Urban Stages. As an actor, his work has been seen at The Manhattan Theater Club (Ruined), Berkeley Rep, Alliance, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theater, Intiman, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Milwaukee Rep, Alabama Shakespeare, McCarter Theatre, The Acting Company, The Studio Theatre and many others. Teaching: New York University and The New School Education: M.F.A. Columbia. carlcofield.com.

The Design Team for The Mountaintop also includes: WILSON CHIN (Scenic Designer), LEX LIANG (Costume Designer), ALAN C. EDWARDS (Lighting Designer), ELISHEBA ITTOOP (Sound Designer), DAN SCULLY (Projections Designer), WIGS AND WHISKERS (Wig Design). The Stage Manager for this production is TOM HUMES and the Production Assistant is HANNAH MONTGOMERY.

The Mountaintop Special Events – All FREE

CPH Script Club: The Mountaintop
Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Check out a copy of the script from one of our partner libraries and read it at home. Then join CPH Education Staff at the library for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

Medina Public Library

January 27 from 7 – 8:15 p.m.

RSVP to Medina Library required at (330) 725-0588.

Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library

January 28 from 7 – 8 p.m.

RSVP to Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library required at (216) 932-3600.

Cleveland Play House

January 31 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

RSVP at http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/calendar/2016/01/31/the-mountaintop-at-cleveland-play-house

This script club will be held in the Tomsich Lobby of the Allen Theatre -NOT in a partner library.

Beachwood Public Library

February 3 from 7 – 8:15 p.m.

RSVP to CCPL - Beachwood Library required at (216) 831-6868.

Rocky River Public Library

February 4 from 7 – 8:15 p.m.

RSVP to Rocky River Public Library required at (440) 895-3766.

Behind-the-Scenes: Pick Up the Baton: Taking Responsibility for Social Change

February 6 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation." Dr. King effectively harnessed the power of a community sharing common values to come together to create social change. Join CPH, as we welcome Cleveland area community organizers and develop the skills needed to bring positive change within our own city. May we pick up the baton. RSVP at http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/calendar/2016/02/06/pick-up-the-baton-taking-responsibility-for-social-change

Pre-Show Conversations begin 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance.

Ticket Information

The Mountaintop will take place in the Outcalt Theatre from January 23 – February 14. Tickets range in price from $20-$90 each. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents ofCuyahogaCountyfor supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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