THE MOUNTAINTOP Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Black History Month

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 8, 2016

For five years in a row, we produced during the month of January five of the greatest American plays ever written by some of our greatest playwrights: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and All My Sons, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and my favorite, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.

All five died in the water, and I think, by and large, they were super productions. Yet no one came, whether due to the cold, the post-Christmas bills, or the plays themselves. I hope not the latter; yet as I’ve often said, I’m a slow learner. All five productions’ total attendance never equaled one afternoon performance of Flopsy, Mopsy & Cottontail.

Hence, this year we begin rehearsals for Little Red Riding Hood & Friends. This is an interactive piece where the children choose which plays they will see, making it fun for them and fun for the performers: Lacey Connell, Tyler John Morrill, Jackie Ostick and Emily Rourke.

To the lessons about minding your parents in “Little Red Riding Hood” and the importance of honesty in “Rumpelstiltskin,” I’ve added messages about eating healthy in “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and staying in school for “The Three Little Pigs.”

Little Red Riding Hood & Friends plays January 23, January 30 and February 6 at 2:00pm, with weekday matinees still available for bookings by school groups.

Upstairs in theotherspace, Jackie Ostick and Emily Rourke are joined by Mariah Sade Ralph for our fourteenth annual presentation of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, playing January 15 through January 30 on Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm.

Then it’s back downstairs to the mainstage for Mariah Sade Ralph, joining Phillip Bernard Smith in our Black History Month production, Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop.

In the past, we have produced for Black History Month a number of plays dealing with the black experience: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Mother****** with the Hat, Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy and even William Shakespeare’s Othello.

This year, The Mountaintop honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is responsible for a national holiday and a month focusing specifically on African American history and accomplishments. In this gripping re-imagination set in the Lorraine Motel the night before he was killed and following the delivery of one of his most memorable speeches, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people when a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news.

Teachers interested in enhancing their curricula related to the Civil Rights Movement can schedule field trips to the theatre for The Mountaintop by contacting us at roxytheatre@bellsouth.net or (931)645-7699. For school groups of 20 or more, performances are available February 8 through February 19 at 9:15am and 11:30am.

Public performances of The Mountaintop are February 24 and 25 at 7:00pm; February 26 at 8:00pm; and February 27 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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