Durham News: Community

Theater companies to collaborate on King play

This fall, two of North Carolina’s leading theater companies, PlayMakers Repertory Company and Triad Stage, will co-produce the regional premiere of “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall. The play focuses on the last night in the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

It is the theater companies’ first collaboration of this kind.

PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, will present the play as its main stage season opener Sept. 18-Oct. 6 in the Paul Green Theatre at UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art located on Country Club Road. Tickets are currently available as part of PlayMakers’ 2013-2014 subscription packages. Single tickets may be purchased by calling 919-962-7529, or online at playmakersrep.org.

The play will then be performed in Greensboro by Triad Stage Oct. 20-Nov. 10 at The Pyrle Theater, 232 South Elm St. in Greensboro. Tickets are currently available as part of Triad Stage’s 2013-2014 season pass package. Single tickets may be purchased by calling the Triad Stage Box Office at 336- 272-0160 or toll-free at 866-579-8499, or online at triadstage.org.

Set on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., at the Lorraine Motel, the story unfolds on the historic last night in the life of the civil rights icon. A visitation from a mysterious woman leads King to confront his innermost thoughts and fears on the stormy evening before his assassination.

“The Mountaintop” premiered in London in 2009 to great critical acclaim, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. A hit Broadway run followed, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. The London Independent called it “breathtaking, hilarious and heart-stopping.”

The co-production will be directed by PlayMakers associate artist Raelle Myrick-Hodges, who helmed the production of “A Raisin in the Sun” at PlayMakers last season.

Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theater company. Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit theater company based in Greensboro’s downtown historic district. Both theaters have been named among the “Best Regional Theatres in America” by New York’s Drama League.