“The Mountaintop" at Riverside Theatre -- February 23 through March 10

Friday, February 23, through Sunday, March 10

River Side Theatre, 119 East College Street, Iowa City

Winner of Great Britain's Oliver Award for Best Play and described by London's Independent as “wondrous, hilarious, and heartbreaking,” the fascinating two-character drama The Mountaintop enjoys a February 23 through March 10 run at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, the play's imagined tale involving Martin Luther King Jr. lauded by the Los Angeles Times as “a powerful, poetic take on (King's) legacy.”

Written by Katori Hall, a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Hot Wing King whose other works include the hit TV series P-Valley and the Tony-winning musical revue Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, The Mountaintop is a fictional retelling of how Martin Luther King Jr. spent his last night on earth before his tragic assassination. After delivering his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop speech” on behalf of the sanitation workers in Memphis, Martin goes to the Lorraine Motel to rest before another long day of campaigning. His world is spun on his axis when he meets Camae, a beautiful maid, who delivers his room service. At first, they only exchange flirtatious remarks, but soon they start a deep dialogue about Martin’s hopes and fears, and the two develop a true understanding. But is Camae truly who she says she is? A tale of hopes, fears, regrets, and the bridge between mortality and immortality, The Mountaintop shows its audiences a different side of Martin Luther King: a man who is tired, flawed, yet, despite everything, still an inspiration.

Riverside Theatre's The Mountaintop will be directed by Curtis M. Jackson and features Monte J. Howell as Martin Luther King Jr. and Tierra Plowden as Camae. The creative team includes Bethany Kasperek, scenic designer; Abigail Mansfield Colemen, costume designer; Alastair Sigala Ramirez, lighting designer; Gabriel Clausen, sound designer; Stephan Polchert, props designer; Emily Berkheimer, projection designer; Tyler Salow, stage manager; Charlie Schmelzer, assistant stage manager; Carrie Pozdol, intimacy director; and Zheyna Loughney, board operator.

Director Jackson is an accredited director and performer from Washington D.C. and has worked previously at Riverside Theatre on The Agitators and The Niceties. King portrayer Howell is pursuing his MFA at the University of Iowa for acting and as a graduate teaching assistant, and has appeared in numerous productions including Les Misérables on the musical's Broadway national tour. And portraying Camae, Plowden is an area performer who has appeared on stages across the Corridor, and was previously on Riverside’s stage in Sonnets for the New Century and Black & Blue.

The Mountaintop runs in Iowa City from February 23 through March 10, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Following the performance on Sunday, February 25, there will be a talkback with producing artistic director Adam Knight, director Jackson, and the cast, and The Mountaintop is sponsored by the Robert E. Yager Charitable Trust, with opening-night sponsors Stephanie and Ray Manning. Admission is $15-39, and more information and tickets are available by calling (319)259-7099 and visiting RiversideTheatre.org.

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