Interview: Playwright Katori Hall Reaches for King’s Mountaintop

By Lonna Saunders

At just 30 years old making her Broadway debut, playwright Katori Hall was not around to experience Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in real time, but she became immersed in his legacy growing up in Memphis where he spent the last days of his life.

Her new play Mountaintop with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett pays tribute to Dr. King’s last public appearance at Mason Temple in Memphis where he delivered his historic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. The play has the same director as last year’s Tony-winning Fences. Kenny Leon directed Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in the revival of that August Wilson classic .

Hall received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University with Departmental Honors in African-American Studies and has a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Harvard University. She also studied playwriting at Juilliard under the tutelage of noted playwright Christopher Durang…

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Written on November 15th, 2011 , Media
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