Alley Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Team for Katori Hallís The Mountaintop
December 17, 2012
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Alley Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Team for Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, a Collaboration with Arena Stage, Washington D.C.
-The Mountaintop runs January 11 through February 3, 2013, on the Hubbard Stage, located downtown
HOUSTON, TX – Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for the Alley Theatre’s production of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, produced in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington D.C. The Mountaintop runs on the Alley Theatre’s Hubbard Stage January 11 through February 3, 2013.
Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping re-imagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel. A provocative maid arrives to seduce the 39-year-old powerful leader. Their encounter depicts King, the man, as he confronts his fate.
The cast of The Mountaintop features Bowman Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joaquina Kalukango as Camae. The director is Robert O’Hara.
Playwright Katori Hall makes her Alley Theatre debut with The Mountaintop, which received the 2010 Olivier Award in London for Best Play. Hall grew up in Memphis and enrolled the acting program when she was at Columbia University. After researching and finding few roles for young African American women, she decided to devote her life’s work to creating roles for African Americans onstage. Hall continued her studies at Harvard University and Juilliard School. It was when she was at Juilliard that she first had the idea of creating a play about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in front of the Lorraine Motel, just around the corner from where her mother was raised.
Discussing the inspiration for her play, Hall says that "as a historical figure, King has been shrouded in so much myth that it’s intriguing to make him flesh and blood." In her re-imagining of Dr. King’s last night at the Lorraine Motel, she explains that "It is not the ‘I have a dream’ King. It’s a King that is radical." "King changed the world but he was not a deity. He was a man, a human being like me and you." "I wanted to depict not only Dr. King’s triumphs but also his struggles. He achieved such great things, but he is grounded in a very human existence."
"The Alley is pleased to join with one of our sister theatres, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C, to bring to our audiences Katori Hall's compelling, powerful play. Hers is a brilliant new voice in the American theatre," says Artistic Director Gregory Boyd.
The Mountaintop features scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos and lighting design by Japhy Weidman. Sound design is by Lindsay Jones with projection design by Jeff Sugg and Dramaturg Jacey Little.
The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall and directed by Robert O’Hara, begins performances Friday, January 11, opens officially Wednesday, January 16, and runs through Sunday, February 3, 2013 on the Hubbard Stage, located downtown at 615 Texas Avenue.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Katori Hall is a playwright and performer from Memphis. Her plays include The Mountaintop which won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, and recently ran on Broadway with Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson; Hurt Village which won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize at Signature Theatre; Children of Killers at the National Theatre, UK and Castillo Theatre in NYC; Hoodoo Love at Cherry Lane Theatre; Remembrance at the Women’s Project; Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! At Williamstown Theatre Festival; Our Lady of Kibeho and Pussy Valley. 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 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 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 and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is currently a member of the Residency Five at Signature Theatre Company in New York City.
ABOUT THE CAST
Joaquina Kalukango (Camae) is making her Alley Theatre debut. Her Broadway credits include Godspell. Off-Broadway credits include Emotional Creature; and Hurt Village, which received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Nomination; and Rent. Regional credits include Emotional Creature at Berkeley Repertory; Ragtime and Once on this Island at Hangar Theatre; The Bluest Eye at Horizon Theatre; and The Wiz at True Colors. Training includes The Juilliard School.
Bowman Wright (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) is making his Alley Theatre debut. Theatre credits include TogDog/UnderDog as Lincoln at Marin Theatre Company; A Raisin in the Sun as Walter Lee Younger at Geva Theatre Center; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at La Jolla Playhouse; The Dreamer Examines His Pillow as Tommy at Shakespeare & Company; Piano Lesson as Lymon at Virginia Stage; Since Africa as Ater Dhal and House With No Walls as Jacob/Austin at Interact Theatre; Fences as Cory at Actors Theatre of Louisville; and Death and the King’s Horsemen at Lantern Theatre. Film credits include Sight with Lionsgate Productions and Vinson with Sainvil Productions. Training includes The University of California, San Diego.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Robert O’Hara (Director) recently released his film writing and directing debut, The Inheritance. He received the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed by Danai Guiria. He received 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for his direction of the World Premiere of the critically acclaimed In The Continuum at Primary Stages. He wrote and directed the World Premiere of Insurrection: Holding History at The Public Theater, the piece received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play and was subsequently published by both TCG and Dramatist Play Service. He directed the World Premiere of Tarell McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Co-Production at McCarter Theatre/ New York Shakespeare Festival. His play, BootyCandy, under his direction, was presented at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Recent and upcoming directing: World Premiere of Wild with Happy at The Public Theater, The Mountaintop at Arena Stage, BootyCandy at Wilma Theater. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU/TISCH School of the Arts and has worked at the following theatres: Magic Theatre, CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre, Alliance Theatre, City Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town and Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Clint Ramos (Scenic and Costume Design) Recent credits include Volpone at Red Bull Theater; Wild With Happy at Public Theater; Hamlet at CalShakes; Party People at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Common Pursuit at RoundaboutTheater; The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper at Williamstown Theater Festival; The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide …at Public Theater; After The Revolution at Playwrights Horizons; and Angels in America 1&2 and Hurt Village at Signature. New York Credits include Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage, New York Theater Workshop, Culture Project, Foundry, Ma-Yi, Women’s Project, New Georges, Naatco, Clubbed Thumb, and others. Regional credits include American Repertory Theater, Asolo Repertory Theater, Alliance Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Guthrie, Kansas City Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Huntington, Geva Theater, Denver Center Theater, Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse, Long Wharf, Opera Boston, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and many others. International credits include Barbican in London, Thalia in Bucharest, Rijksteatern in Stockholm, O’Reilly in Dublin, Kanon in St. Petersburg, Teatro Pilipino in Manila and others. Honors include a 2010 Lucille Lortel award, 2009 TDF Irene Sharaff award, 2007 and 2009 American Theater Wing Henry Hewes awards, as well as 2008 and 2010 Drama Desk nominations. He holds an MFA in design for stage and film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Japhy Weideman (Lighting Design) Broadway credits include Cyrano de Bergerac. Other New York credits include 4000 Miles, Slow Girl, All-American, Stunning, What Once We Felt at Lincoln Center; Sons of the Prophet, Tigers Be Still at Roundabout Theatre Co.; Great God Pan at PlaywrightsHorizons; All New People, Warrior Class, The Talls at Second Stage; Wild With Happy, The Singing Forest at The Public/NYSF; Jack Goes Boating which received DramaDesk and Lortel nominations, Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Little Flower of East Orange at LAByrinth Theatre Co; and Frankenstein at Soho Rep, which received a Drama Desk nomination.Regional credits include ACT, Berkeley Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Houston Grand Opera,Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Old Globe, Santa Fe Opera,Shakespeare Theater, Signature Theater, Westport, and Williamstown. International credits includeWest End, RSC, La Scala, Nederlandse Opera, Edinburgh Festival, EpidaurusGreece, and the National Theater of Korea. Upcoming credits include The Nance on Broadway.
Lindsay Jones (Sound Design) Off-Broadway credits include Through the Night at Union Square/Westside Theatres, Wild With Happy at Public Theater, The Burnt Part Boys at Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard, Top Secret at New York Theatre Workshop, Rx at Primary Stages and many others. Regionally he has designed for the Guthrie Theatre, Center Stage, American Conservatory Theatre, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Alliance, Goodman, Arena Stage, Yale Repertory, The Old Globe, Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, Lookingglass and many others. International credits include Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, Royal Shakespeare Company in England, as well as productions in Austria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Scotland. Awards include six Joseph Jefferson Awards and 16 nominations, two Ovation Awards and three nominations, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, two ASCAP Plus Awards, two Drama Desk Award nominations, 2 AUDELCO nominations, as well as nominations for Henry Hewes Design, Barrymore, Austin Critics Circle, and NAACP Theatre Awards. Lindsay was also the first sound designer to win the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. Film scoring includes HBO Films’ A Note of Triumph which won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Documentary and Family Practice for Sony Pictures.
Jeff Sugg (Projection Design) is a Brooklyn-based designer and multi-award winner. Broadway credits include Bring It On The Musical, Magic/Bird, 33 Variations, and Chinglish. Off-Broadway credits include Tribes, Compulsion, The Book of Grace, Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, The Truth: A Tragedy, and The Accidental Trilogy. Regional credits include many productions at theatres including Arena Stage, The Alliance, Center Theater Group, Berkeley Rep and The Goodman. He has also worked with many renowned companies and artists including Cynthia Hopkins, Laurie Anderson and The Wooster Group. He has won a Lortel, an Obie, a Bessie and two Hewes Awards.
Jacey Little (Dramaturg) is the Associate Literary Manager and Dramaturg for the Alley Theatre. Before joining the Alley in 2011, Jacey worked as a freelance dramaturg for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, The Landing Theatre Company and Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company. Her Alley credits include Assistant Director and Dramaturg for Death of a Salesman and The Seagull and Dramaturg for Red, The Seafarer and What We’re Up Against. Jacey received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma and is currently completing her MA thesis at the University of Houston.
ABOUT THE ALLEY THEATRE
The Alley Theatre is a nationally recognized Theatre Company based in Houston, Texas. The Alley was founded in 1947 and is one of the few US companies with a commitment to resident artists. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden, the Alley creates a wide-ranging repertoire of innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and new works in its 11 production season. The Alley has brought its productions to Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, 40 American cities, to Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg, as well as to major European festivals (including two in one season at the Venice Biennale). A recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley has premiered plays by Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Robert Wilson, Rajiv Joseph. Kenneth Lin, Eve Ensler, Keith Reddin, and Herbert Siguenza, as well as creating the premieres of the musicals Jekyll & Hyde, The Civil War, and Wonderland. Other notable collaborations include The Roman Plays (with Vanessa Redgrave), Hydriotaphia (by Tony Kushner), and Danton's Death. The Alley’s productions are built and rehearsed in the Alley Theatre Center for Theatre Production – a 75,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the theatres themselves and are performed on the 824-seat Hubbard Stage and the 310-seat Neuhaus Stage. The Alley continues to provide its audiences with thought-provoking, diverse and transformative theatre. alleytheatre.org
ABOUT ARENA STAGE
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theateris a national center dedicated to the production, presentation, development and study of American theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, Arena Stage is the largest company in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. Arena Stage produces huge plays of all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays through the American Voices New Play Institute. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. arenastage.org.
The Mountaintop is generously sponsored by Supporting Sponsor Technip USA, Inc. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2012-2013 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.
Tickets to The Mountaintop start at $26. All tickets to The Mountaintop are available for purchase at alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713.220.5700. Groups of 10 or more can receive special concierge services and select discounts by calling 713.220.5700 and asking for the group sales department.
CAPTIONED AND AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE
Sunday, January 13, 2:30 p.m.
The Alley Theatre offers access services for our deaf or hard of hearing and sight-impaired patrons. Audio Description is provided for each Hubbard Stage production and Open Captioning is offered for every Hubbard Stage and Neuhaus Stage production. To ensure that your seats will accommodate your needs, please call the box office 713.220.5700 when ordering tickets to this performance. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more.
Sunday, January 13
The Alley Theatre continues its efforts to make the theatre affordable to patrons. Partnering with other social non-profit organizations, the Alley seeks to generate in-kind donations and reward patrons with $10 Tix for select performances. The $10 Tix are available in person only on Sunday, January 13 and are limited to two tickets per person. With your donation, you can purchase two $10 tickets for Sunday,January 13 at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. or Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. Donate and purchase in person at the box office (615 Texas Ave.) on Sunday, January 13 only. Limited availability. The donated item and partner organization will be announced at a later date.
Tuesday, January 22, 7:30 p.m.
Members of the cast return to the stage following the performance to take questions from the audience. TalkBacks are led by a member of the Alley Artistic Staff.
Thursday, January 24, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.
Houston's premiere theatre group for gay and lesbian theatre fans and their friends celebrates the Alley Theatre’s production of The Mountaintop. This pre-curtain event is complimentary with your ticket to the Thursday, January 24, 7:30 p.m. performance of The Mountaintop. To buy a ticket, required for this event, use the promo code: ACTOUT. Purchase online at www.alleytheatre.org or call the box office at 713.220.5700.
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