THE MOUNTAINTOP OPENS THE REP’S 2012/13 STIEMKE STUDIO SEASON

On the eve of his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cools down in a lonely Memphis hotel room after delivering the speech of a lifetime – when an unexpected visit from a feisty, young hotel maid pushes King into a confrontation with his doubts, fears and haunting premonitions. A soul-stirring hit in London and on Broadway, The Mountaintop’s humorous, magical storytelling fuses theatricality with spirituality to reach a summit that will leave audiences breathless. The Mountaintop is written by playwright Katori Hall and will be directed by Rep Artistic Associate May Adrales, who returns to The Rep after directing last season’s critically-acclaimed production of Yellowman. The Mountaintop runs in The Rep’s Stiemke Studio from September 26 – November 4, and opens Friday, September 28.

“The Mountaintop isn’t a biography, per se, but rather a very smart, very funny, very moving and very respectful exploration of the ideas that were occupying Dr. King’s mind on the night prior to his death,” says Artistic Director Mark Clements. “The maid character is essential to this innately theatrical play, but impossible to describe without giving away a clever twist that the audience will absolutely lap up!”

“It’s a great honor and privilege to bring this new production of The Mountaintop to Milwaukee,” added Director May Adrales. “It is timely to direct a piece about the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when there is so much civil discord in America right now. Like the ’60s, this country is deeply divided – then it was a “black and white” divide, now it is a “red and blue” divide. Our problems seem as insurmountable now, as I imagine, they did then. But King pressed forward through adversity, marching towards his vision of justice, his “promised land.” This play is a living testimony that it is possible to be a strong citizen in a divided, harsh America and my hope is that this production will inspire us to do just that.”

 

The Mountaintop premiered in London in 2009 to great critical acclaim. After a sell-out run at Theatre503, the play transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End. The Mountaintop premiered on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on September 22, 2011 with an official opening on October 13. The production won the Olivier Best New Play Award in 2010 and was nominated for Whatsonstage Awards and Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Awards.

 

THE CAST

(Please note: the actor performing the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a cast change from what was previously announced.)

 

J. Bernard Calloway (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), making his Rep debut, was last seen on Broadway in the 2010 Tony Award-winning musical Memphis where he originated the role of Delray; Off-Broadway he has performed  at The Public Theater in the ground-breaking Pulitizer-Prize nominated drama The Good Negro, where he portrayed the role of Henry Evans to rave reviews and received an Audelco Nomination for his work; regional credits include: Jitney, Othello, Piano Lesson, Lobby Hero, A Soldier’s Play, Dreamgirls, Aida, Dinah Was and Spunk, to name a few; Nikiya Mathis (Camae), will also be making her Rep debut; New York credits include Kirsten Greenidge’s Milk Like Sugar at Playwrights Horizons and La Jolla Playhouse; The Brother/Sister Plays Trilogy at The Public Theater and McCarter Theatre; Seed at Classical Theatre of Harlem Regional and Intimate Apparel at Two River Theater, to name a few; she received her BA at Temple University and her MFA at New York University.

 

CREATIVE TEAM

The Creative Team for The Mountaintop includes: Lee Savage (Scenic Designer), a faculty member at Yale School of Drama, has extensive New York credits including Rx (Primary Stages), All-American (LCT3). The Dream of the Burning Boy and Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre Company), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater), The Bereaved (Partial Comfort), punkplay (Clubbed Thumb) and End Days (EST); Holly Payne (Costume Designer), The Rep’s Costume Director, has designed several shows at The Rep including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Lombardi, The Bomb-itty of Errors and Speaking in TonguesBarry G. Funderburg (Sound Designer), has designed over 50 productions at The Rep including Othello, In The Next Room or the vibrator play, The 39 Steps, The Cherry Orchard and Pride and Prejudice, to name a few; Jared Mezzocchi (Video Designer), a multimedia director and designer for live multimedia performances, holds an MFA at Brooklyn College for Performance and Interactive Media Arts; he has directed at Andy’s Playhouse in Wilton, NH as well as directed original works throughout the New York City area; as a video designer, he recently designed The Glass Menagerie (Arena Stage, DC) and continues working with Caden Manson’s Big Art Group, The Builders Association, Rob Roth, Untitled Theater Company #61 and at Three Legged Dog; Sandy Ernst, (Casting Director), is The Rep’s Associate Artistic Director and Casting Director; Stephanie Klapper (New York Casting Director); is casting Assassins, The Mountaintop and Blues in the Night this season for The Rep; Jill Walmsley Zager (Dialect Coach), returns to The Rep after coaching To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, Lombardi, Yellowman, Ten Chimneys, Cabaret, My Name is Asher Lev, Laurel and Hardy and The 39 Steps; Richelle Harrington Calin (Stage Manager), has stage managed at The Rep since 2004; Jason Simpson (Stage Management Intern), returns to The Rep after being a Stage Management Intern last season; Kaitlin Kitzmiller (Stage Management Intern) and Maggie Ellsworth (Assistant Director).

 

KEY BIOGRAPHIES

May Adrales (Director) is proud to be an Artistic Associate at Milwaukee Rep and honored to direct Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Previously, she directed Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman at The Rep. She has developed and directed work at Goodman Theatre, The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages, Partial Comfort Productions and Actors Theatre of Louisville. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Van Lier Fellow, Women’s Project Lab Director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab and NYTW directing fellow alum and recipient of the TCG New Generations Grant, Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. She is a former Artistic Program Director (Lark Play Development Center) and Artistic Associate (The Public Theater). She received her MFA from Yale School of Drama and is currently on the faculty. Recent and upcoming productions: Katori Hall’s Whaddabloodclot!!! (Williamstown Theatre Festival), David Henry Hwang’s Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre) and Stefanie Zadrevec’s Electric Baby (Two River Theatre Company).

 

Katori Hall (Playwright) is a playwright/performer from Memphis, Tennessee. Hurt Village won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was finalist for the Ruby Award. The script is being adapted into a film and was developed at the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Hall’s other plays include: The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play), which recently ran on Broadway at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Children of Killers (National Theatre, UK), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theatre), Remembrance (Women’s Project), Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Whaddabloodclot!!!, The Hope Well, 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, Newsweek and The Commercial Appeal. The Mountaintop and Katori Hall: Plays One are published by Methuen Drama. Hall is an alumna of Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop, and is a graduate of Columbia University, The A.R.T. at Harvard University and The Julliard School. She is a proud member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, The Dramatists Guild and The Fellowship of Southern Writers.

 

TICKETS

Tickets for The Mountaintop are from $25 – $40 (prices are subject to change). Half-price RUSH TICKETS are available 30 minutes before curtain time based on availability at The Rep’s Ticket Office. Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2012/13 productions are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, through The Rep’s Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Patron Relations Manager Christine Yundem at 414-290-5340.

 

Subscriptions are also currently on sale. Subscription prices for the 2012/13 Season range from $60 – $468. Packages available are the Ultimate 11-play package which includes the entire season spanning all three of The Rep’s performance spaces; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stackner 9-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stiemke Studio 7-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse 5-play package; Stackner Cabaret 4-play package as well as a Create Your Own Season package and FlexPasses. For additional information on subscription offerings, please contact The Rep’s Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com

 

To learn more about The Rep or its productions, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.

 

SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

 

  • Rep in Depth begins 45 minutes before every performance in the Quadracci Powerhouse and gives an insider’s look at the play from a member of the cast or artistic team with a pre-show discussion. The Rep in Depth will be led by Assistant Director Maggie Ellsworth.
  • Audio-Description Performance – On Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. there will be an Audio-Described Performance for patrons who are blind or have low vision.
  • American Sign Language Interpreted Performance – On Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. there will be an American Sign Language Interpreted Performance for patrons who are deaf or have low hearing.
  • The Rep Talkbacks will be held after the 7:30 p.m. performance on the Wednesday evening 7:30 p.m. performances on Wednesday, October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.

 

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FACT SHEET

WHAT: The Mountaintop

 

WRITTEN BY: Katori Hall

 

DIRECTED BY: May Adrales

 

THEATER: Stiemke Studio

 

DATES: September 26, 2012 – November 4, 2012

DESCRIPTION: On the eve of his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cools down in a lonely Memphis hotel room after delivering the speech of a lifetime – when an unexpected visit from a feisty, young hotel maid pushes King into a confrontation with his doubts, fears and haunting premonitions. A soul-stirring hit in London and on Broadway, The Mountaintop’s humorous, magical storytelling fuses theatricality with spirituality to reach a summit that will leave audiences breathless.

 

PERFORMANCES:

 

Wednesday, 9/26/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – Preview

Thursday, 9/27/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – Preview

Friday, 9/28/2012 – 8:00 p.m. – Opening

Saturday, 9/29/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 9/30/2012 – 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, 10/03/2012 – 1:30 p.m. – Bus Matinee/7:30 p.m. – Talkback

Thursday, 10/04/2012 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, 10/05/2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10/6/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/07/2012 – 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, 10/10/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – Talkback

Thursday, 10/11/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – Audio-Description

Friday, 10/12/2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10/13/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/14/2012 – 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, 10/17/2012 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch Matinee/7:30 p.m. – Talkback

Thursday, 10/18/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – American Sign Language

Friday, 10/19/2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10/20/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/21/2012- 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, 10/23/2012 – 6:30 p.m. – Early Bird

Wednesday, 10/24/2012 – 7:30 p.m. -Talkback

Thursday, 10/25/2012 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, 10/26/2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10/27/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/28/2012 – 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, 10/30/2012 – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 10/31/2012 – 7:30 p.m. – Talkback

Thursday, 11/01/2012 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, 11/02/2012 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, 11/03/2012 – 4:00 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Sunday, 11/04/2012 – 2:00 p.m./7:00 p.m. – Close

 

TICKET PRICES:

Range from $25.00 – $40.00 (Ticket prices are subject to change.)

 

TICKETS/INFORMATION: 414-224-9490 or buy tickets online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com

 

TICKET OFFICE LOCATION: 108 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee’s Downtown Theater District

 

TICKET OFFICE HOURS: Monday – Sunday, noon – 6 pm*

*On days with performances the Ticket Office will stay open until show time.

 

 

Please note: The Rep’s Ticket Office is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

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Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals and side-splitting comedies housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Patty & Jay Baker Theatre Complex

108 E. Wells St Milwaukee, WI 53202

Ticket Office: 414-224-9490 Ticket Office Fax: 225-5490

Administrative: 414-224-1761  Fax: 414-224-9097

 

Artistic Director                                 Managing Director

Mark Clements                                 Dawn Helsing Wolters

 

www.MilwaukeeRep.com