My name is Carla Thomas McGinnis and I have been working as the directing fellow for Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Being in rehearsal this week has been a pleasure. The artistic team comes to Arena after being at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. It has been incredible to see the director, Robert O’Hara and the actors Bowman Wright and Joaquina Kalukango take what they created there and adapt it for our Kreeger stage. Even in the rehearsal room, their performances have been poignant and at times haunting. They have really done impressive work to keep their performances sharp, dynamic, and fresh.
There are some performers that when asked to take on the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would attempt an impersonation – an imitation. But Bowan has found the spirit of King and Joaquina’s performance is so real, so human, that you can’t help but get wrapped in.
In rehearsal the team talked about the reactions they’ve gotten since their performance in Texas. For several of the people they spoke with, The Mountaintop was the first play they had seen and they all said that they that planned to go back to theater. I think that is a true testament of the power of this play. This story is for everyone. It is for those who lived through the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s. It is for those who may not know much about it. It is for first time theatergoers and theater veterans.
This production is a can’t miss journey to the mountaintop.
The Mountaintop is in previews at Arena now! The show opens on April 4th and runs through May 26th.