Sunday, January 14, 2018

L.A. Theatre Works to present THE MOUNTAINTOP Jan. 23 at Rozsa Center; Michigan Tech commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. with banquet, discussion, more

Michigan Tech invites the public to commemorate 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in their 29th year of celebrating his legacy of social justice and inclusion. (Poster courtesy Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON -- This year, in conjunction with Michigan Tech’s 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Martin Luther King Jr., the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion are proud to present L.A. Theatre Works' brand new production of Katori Hall's play, The Mountaintop.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. What happened inside room 306 the night before the killing is a mystery. In her internationally acclaimed play, playwright Katori Hall imagines what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

See The Mountaintop at 7:30 p.m. at the Rozsa Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Immediately following the play, join a panel discussion and Q and A with student members of Michigan Tech’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), L.A. Theatre Works' The Mountaintop cast, and staff from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in the Rozsa Lobby, with beverages and dessert served.

According to L.A. Theatre Works, "Beginning January 12, L.A. Theatre Works commemorates the anniversary with a touring production of the internationally acclaimed play, The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall, directed by multiple award-winner Shirley Jo Finney and starring Gilbert Glenn Brown (CBS TV’s The Inspectors, upcoming feature film The Best of Enemies) and Karen Malina White (The Cosby Show, A Different World, Malcolm and Eddie). The production will travel to 38 cities across the United States."

Recipient of London’s 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, Hall’s gripping re-imagining of events is rife with humanity and humor as the celebrated Reverend reveals his hopes, regrets and fears to a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

"It was really important for me to show the human side of King," said playwright Hall. "During this time, he was dealing with the heightened threat of violence, he was tackling issues beyond civil rights -- economic issues -- and was denouncing the Vietnam War. So I wanted to explore the emotional toll and the stress of that. King changed the world, but he was not a deity. He was a man, a human being like me and you. So it was important to show him as such: vulnerable."

The Mountaintop received its world premiere in London at Theatre 503 before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in the West End. The 2011 Broadway production starred Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

This performance is supported in part through funding from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group. It is also sponsored by WGGL, Minnesota Public Radio, and Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Tickets are on sale now: $22 - Adult, $10 - Youth. No Charge for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech Fee. To purchase tickets in advance, please call (906) 487-2073, go online at mtu.edu/rozsa, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). Tickets will also be available at the Rozsa Box office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours before event times.

29th Annual MLK Banquet to precede L.A. Theatre Works performance

In Michigan Tech's 29th year of MLK celebrations, the university invites the public to reflect on Dr. King's vision of inclusion. 2018 marks 50 years since we lost one of the most influential visionaries and impactful social justice advocates of United States history. The public is invited to celebrate Dr. King by attending a free, reserved banquet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Rozsa Lobby preceding the L.A. Theatre Works performance of The Mountaintop. Please arrive at 5 p.m. CLICK HERE to reserve your space.

More MLK Week events:

Monday, Jan. 15: Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff will volunteer time reading books about Dr. King's life and legacy to students in local schools. Participating schools include Houghton Elementary, Barkell Elementary and Dollar Bay School.

Tuesday, Jan. 16: BSA Poetry Slam, 7 p.m. in DHH Ballroom. Join BSA (Black Student Association) for a night of entertaining, emotional, intellectual and thought provoking pieces performed.

Thursday, Jan. 18: NSBE Rap Game Night, 7 p.m. in DHH Ballroom. Do you like to rap? Wanna showcase your skills? Come join NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and compete in the MLK Rap Game Night. Winner will get a prize.

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