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The Mountaintop

By Katori Hall

Directed by Kent Gash

When: JAN. 12 - FEB. 12, 2017
Where: The Dowling Theater
Run time: Approximately 100 minutes with no intermission



About the Show

April 3, 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Memphis' Lorraine Motel after delivering his famous “mountaintop” speech. There he is visited by a spirited young maid who challenges him to come to terms with his life's unfinished business. This breathtaking re-imagining of the last night of one of America’s greatest heroes achieves what only theater can do – it brings Dr. King to immediate, spontaneously felt life. And in his presence, as embodied by beloved resident actor Joe Wilson, Jr., audiences get to experience, understand, and appreciate the whole man. Winner of England’s Olivier Award for Best Play, a hit on Broadway, and now one of the most produced plays in America, The Mountaintop – with surprising humor and newfound urgency – draws audiences a bit closer to the summit.

"Begins by contemplating a single point in time and ends by creating a vantage point not only over King's life but over history itself —and how one man's deeds can become a lasting legacy." —The Telegraph

"The Mountaintop crackles with theatricality and a humanity more moving than sainthood." —NY Newsday

“As audacious as it is inventive…[a] thrilling, wild, provocative flight of magical realism…The King that is left after Hall's humanization project is somehow more real and urgent and whole." —Associated Press

Critics Applaud Trinity Rep's Production of The Mountaintop

"Searing performances...crushingly powerful...will leave you breathless." —Channing Gray, The Providence Journal
"Not only flawless but inspiring and engaging...admirable and important for all ages to see." —Sue McDonald, The Sun Chronicle
"Wilson and Ellis elevate the already excellent material into an emotional and visual feast...Go get your tickets, and bring your friends and family." —Will Demers, Edge Media Network
"This is the injection of hope that we need right now." —Andria Tieman, BroadwayWorld
"Joe Wilson, Jr. is electric as Dr. King and he's met his match in Mia Ellis." —Casey Nilsson, Rhode Island Monthly
"The Mountaintop is a showcase for Wilson, who skillfully and lovingly executes playwright Hall's winning portrait of an icon...Mia Ellis as Camae is earthy...funny, sexy, and flirtatious." —Rich Fahey, On Boston Stages
"Variously exhilarating, contrived, inventive, raw, hilarious, splendid!" —James Merolla, RI Central
"The Mountaintop is a marvelous play that depicts an American hero as an ordinary man destined to fulfill an extraordinary role in our country’s history. The acting is superb, and the play is as entertaining as it is thought provoking." —Dave Christner, Newport Mercury
"Powered by tremendous performances by Joe Wilson, Jr. and Mia Ellis, this is a play that delivers on multiple levels—historical, dramatic, and yes, spiritual. " —Mike Hoban, Theater Mirror

Video & Related Content

Check out playwright Katori Hall talking about The Mountaintop:

Glimpse into Trinity Rep's production of The Mountaintop:

Ascend to The Mountaintop in this exclusive Providence Journal interview with Joe Wilson, Jr.

"People will see sides of the man that they've never seen before."
– Resident Company Member Joe Wilson, Jr.

"[The Mountaintop] isn't really about the iconography of King. [...] This play seeks to dramatize the last night he is alive on earth, dramatizing a man who has been away from his family for a long time. He's a man with foibles, a man with shortcomings, he's a man." – Joe Wilson, Jr. in Edge Media

Read an interview with Resident Company Member Joe Wilson, Jr., and explore the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming Events for The Mountaintop

Ovation & Conversation with Christina Bevilacqua
Sunday, Feb. 12th at 4 pm
Following the final matinee performance of The Mountaintop, Conversationalist-in-Residence Christina Bevilacqua will host a wrap party backstage with the cast and audiences to toast the closing night of the show and lead a dynamic conversation about the production, what the play means to us today, and more.

All audiences who see the show throughout the run are invited to return for this unique post-performance event.

As always, and included with your ticket purchase, our new pre-show Prologue series takes place one hour before every The Mountaintop performance. Join us for this 30 minute pre-show discussion, hosted by Val Tutson and Rochel Coleman of the RI Black Storytellers, which will examine the history of the production and the playwright, peek into the rehearsal process, and give reasons for why we're passionate about programming this show here and now. Each Prologue ends with a short participatory Q&A session.

The Artistic Team

Set design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Kara Harmon, lighting design by Dawn Chiang, sound design by Justin Ellington, projections by Shawn Duan, and stage managed by Meg Tracy Leddy.

Cast & Contributors

Thank you to our season sponsors Ocean State Job Lot and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for supporting The Mountaintop.


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