A rainy night on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. It was not long after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had delivered a powerful speech in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis. King had implored his listeners to work together; to take “a stand with greater determination…to make American a better nation.”
As he finished his speech, King spoke of seeing the Promised Land from the mountaintop; then speculated about his future. Would he see the Promised Land? What might have happened after he delivered his speech, then retired for the night? That’s the focus of “The Mountaintop,” NextStop’s upcoming theatrical production.
Written by award-winning playwright Katori Hall, “The Mountaintop” envisions what could have happened when a mystifying stranger meets Dr. King, bringing unanticipated weighty news.
"This is a moving and beautiful play that gets to the heart of Dr. King's dream for a better America,” said Evan Hoffmann, producing artistic director, NextStop Theatre. “We have gathered an exceptional group of artists to guide this story onto the stage. I could not be more excited to share this work with our audiences."
“The Mountaintop” is directed by Kevin S. McAllister. “He is one of the most sought-after artists in the area,” noted Hoffmann. “McAllister has been a member of the Broadway cast of ‘Come From Away.’” He has also received several Helen Hayes Awards.
NextStop’s “The Mountaintop” stars Curtis McNeil as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shayla Simmons is Camae; the fictional character who may not be what she first seems. What happens between Dr. King and Camae becomes an encounter with unforeseen twists of fate that spill over in a startling, mysterious manner
To bring audiences closer to the actors, NextStop is reconfiguring its theatrical space to make the experience even more intimate.
“We will be donating twenty of the closest seats to each performance to local high school students, so that they can have a front row to history,” said Hoffmann. It is the “Front Row to History” Initiative, which will provide free, front-row tickets for local high school students to see “The Mountaintop.”
“It is my hope that this unique opportunity will open new doors and perspectives for the students who participate, and foster a greater dialogue between the performers and the audience,” said Hoffmann. “’The Mountaintop’ is an extraordinary play providing an up-close and personal look at a famous, iconic civil rights leader.”
Where and When
NextStop Theatre presents “The Mountaintop” at 269 Sunset Park Drive, (Inside Sunset Business Park), Herndon. Performances: Jan. 9 to Feb. 2, 2020. Thurs. Jan 9, 23, and 30 at 8 p.m., Fri. Jan 17, 24, and 31 at 8 p.m., Sat. Jan 11 and 25 at 8 p.m. Jan. 18 and Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun Jan. 12, 19, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. Special performance on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets: General Admission $35-50* (NextStop strongly encourages booking in advance. Ticket prices increase as performances get nearer and fill up). Tickets call: 866-811-4111 or visit www.nextstoptheatre.org.