David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs star in London's West End production of The Mountaintop, which is expected to open with a new cast on Broadway this fall.

David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs star in London’s West End production of The Mountaintop, which is expected to open with a new cast on Broadway this fall.

April 1, 2011

Forty-three years ago, on April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. took the stage at Mason Temple, a black church in Memphis, Tenn., to deliver what was to be his final speech.

His “Mountaintop” speech, which touched on his own mortality and how the civil rights movement would go on without him, proved to be prophetic. The next evening, King was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

That last night at the Lorraine Motel inspired 29-year-old Katori Hall‘s The Mountaintop, a play that imagines an encounter between King and a motel chambermaid on the eve of his assassination.

Listen to All Things Consisdered on NPR with Katori Hall

Written on April 12th, 2011 , Media

Katori Hall, a 29-year-old playwright from Memphis whose work examines the historical and social forces affecting African-American characters, has been named the 33rd winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The award is given annually to outstanding women playwrights. Ms. Hall received $20,000 and a signed and numbered print by the artist Willem de Kooning for her play “Hurt Village,” about the problems of families in a decaying Memphis housing project.

Read the New York Times Art Blog Article

Written on April 12th, 2011 , Media

American playwright Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop,” a fictional depiction of the last hours of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, has not yet made it to New York, but it was given a reading in Moscow on Friday.

A packed house at the Open Stage Project listened intently as Satirikon Theater actors Grigory Siyatvinda and Yelizaveta Martinez Cardenas read the parts of King and a mysterious female figure named Camae. She appears first as a hotel maid and finally as an angel sent from God.

The reading was organized by the New Play Festival, currently underway as an adjunct of the Golden Mask Festival, in collaboration with the Lark Play Development Center in New York. The Lark has developed Hall’s work in the past and, according to the organization’s producing director John Eisner, it has the goal of bringing international recognition to other writers it works with.

Read the Moscow Times Article

John Eisner, Katori Hall and Tatyana Khaikina listen to comments from spectators after a reading of Hall's "The Mountaintop" in Moscow on Friday.

John Eisner, Katori Hall and Tatyana Khaikina listen to comments from spectators after a reading of Hall's "The Mountaintop" in Moscow on Friday.

Written on April 12th, 2011 , Media

Katori Hall to receive the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award at the William Inge Theatre Festival. A concert reading of The Mountaintop will be presented at 7:30 p.m

Tickets will be available on line starting March 1st at Inge Center Website or by calling (800) 842-6063 ext. 5835.

Katori Hall is Inge Festival Otis Guernsey New Voices Award winner

The up-and-coming playwright and performer Katori Hall has been selected winner of the 2010 William Inge Theatre Festival’s Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award. Hall will be presented with the award during the 29th Annual Inge Festival April 21-24 in Independence, Kansas, at Independence Community College. The Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award recognizes contemporary playwrights whose voices are helping shape the American theater of today.

The award, now bestowed on its 18th rising playwright, is named for the late Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., acclaimed theater writer and scholar who was a longtime advocate and attendee of the William Inge Theatre Festival. The Festival is named for the late William Inge, an Independence native who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (“Picnic”) and Oscar for Best Screenplay (“Splendor in the Grass.”)

Read More (William Inge Theatre Festival Website)

Written on April 12th, 2011 , Events

Katori Hall tells the journey of her show Mountaintop; from the streets of Memphis to the West End Theatre District London to now Broadway.

Tavis Smiley and Katori Hall MP3

The Tavis Smily Show...

The Tavis Smily Show...

Written on April 12th, 2011 , Media
Katori Hall on Twitter