The Ebony Road Players will present a staged reading of “The Mountaintop” on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in the DeWitt Center main theatre in recognition of national Black History Month.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.  There will also be an opportunity for audience discussion following the presentation.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Written by playwright Katori Hall — whose honors include the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama — “The Mountaintop” examines the human side of Dr. Martin Luther King as he retires to the Lorraine Hotel, after his April 3, 1968, speech on behalf of the Memphis sanitation workers.  The play reimagines events the night before the assassination of the civil rights leader. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people.

 “The Mountaintop” premiered in London, England, in 2009, and won the 2010 Olivier Award for New Play.  It has since been performed on Broadway and throughout the U.S. as well as in foreign nations including France, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa in addition to England.

The Associated Press has described “The Mountaintop” as “…as audacious as it is inventive… [a] thrilling, wild, provocative flight of magical realism…Hall keeps her audience guessing… This is playwriting without a net, a defiant poke in the eye of all historical conventions and political correctness… The King that is left after Hall’s humanization project is somehow more real and urgent and whole.”

Please note that the play’s content includes strong language.

Ebony Road Players is a Grand Rapids theater company whose mission is to inspire, educate and engage the cultures of the community with high-quality theater productions focused on the Black experience. The company strives to bring together all facets of the Grand Rapids community through theater arts education, producing plays by renowned Black playwrights, and community-based works.

The presentation is sponsored by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Black Student Union, Many Voices Project, Department of Theatre, GROW Advocacy Council and Cultural Affairs Committee.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion requests and encourages wearing masks indoors.

The DeWitt Student and Cultural Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th Streets.