Jean Doumanian Productions (August: Osage County, Our Town, Superior Donuts, When The Rain Stops Falling), in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions (The Norman Conquests, The Seagull, Boeing-Boeing, La Cage aux Folles and Rock 'n' Roll) is moving forward to mount a Broadway production of the new play, The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall, following the recent announcement of the 2010 Olivier Award Best New Play nomination in London (actress Lorraine Burroughs also received a nomination for Best Actress for her performance). The Mountaintop will open on Broadway this Fall as part of the upcoming 2010-11 Season. The producers are in negotiations with Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun) to direct this American premiere.
In a joint statement, Ms. Doumanian and Ms. Friedman said, "The Mountaintop is a brilliantly conceived gem of a play. An ambitious work of fiction that is powerful, heartbreaking, humorous and exhilarating. We are honored to be bringing Katori Hall's remarkable work to New York, and to present a singular new American playwright to Broadway audiences."
The Mountaintop received its world premiere to critical acclaim in a three-week run at Theatre 503 in June 2009, and subsequently transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studio 1. The production featured powerful performances by David Harewood as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lorraine Burroughs as the mysterious Camae, under the direction of James Dacre. (The Mountaintop also received two Evening Standard Awards Nominations for Most Promising Playwright and Best Actor.)
Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., as he retires to Room 306 in the now famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, after delivering his legendary ‘From the mountaintop' speech to a massive church congregation. When room-service is delivered by a young woman, whose identity we puzzle over, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.
Katori Hall, an American actress and playwright, grew up in Memphis and is a child of the post-civil rights era. She is a recent graduate from the Juilliard School playwriting program and was the recent recipient of William Inge Theatre Festival's 2010 Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award. She is an alumnus of both Harvard and Columbia Universities.
The cast of The Mountaintop will be announced shortly.