The Mountaintop

Directed by ahdri zhina mandiela

October 14 – 29, 2017

A co-production with Neptune Theatre (Halifax)

The Studio, Segal Centre for the Performing Arts
5170 Chemin de la Côte Ste Catherine
Purchase tickets here.



“During the next 85 intermissionless minutes, the tension will steadily seep out of “The Mountaintop,” despite a teasing mystery at the center of its plot.”  –  The New York Times, January 2012

“This isn’t the play for new discoveries or revelations about King the man, but it’s a powerful, poetic take on his legacy — its triumphs and still-unfulfilled promises — from the perspective of a generation that followed him.” – Los Angeles Times, February 2016

About the play

April 3, 1968: After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, “I Have Been to the Mountaintop”, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel amidst a raging storm. When a mysterious stranger arrives at his door, Dr. King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy as a leading figure in the American Civil Rights Movement.

About the playwright: Katori Hall

Katori Hall is a playwright and performer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Her award-winning play HOODOO LOVE premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2007. It was developed under Lynn Nottage as part of the theatre’s 2006 Mentor Project. HOODOO LOVE received three AUDELCO nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, August Wilson Playwright Award). Her other plays include: REMEMBRANCE, HURT VILLAGE, SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING, THE MOUNTAINTOP, ON THE CHITLIN’ CIRCUIT, and FREEDOM TRAIN (KCACTF ten minute play national finalist). Her work has been developed and presented at the following venues: the American Repertory Theatre, Kennedy Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Schomburg Center, BRICLab, Women’s Project, World Financial Center, Lark Play Development Center, New Professional Theatre, The O’Neill, the Juilliard School, Stanford University, and Columbia University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lecompte du Nouy Prize, North Manhattan Arts Alliance Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts Commission Grant, New Professional Theatre’s Writers’ Festival award, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, Royal Court Theatre Residency, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. She has also been a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow. As an actor, her credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” THE PRESIDENT’S PUPPETS (The Public), GROWING UP A SLAVE (American Place Theatre), INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL (American Place Theatre), the world premiere of AMERIKA (Theatre de la Jeune Lune/American Repertory Theatre), SPRING AWAKENING (Moscow Art Theatre School), AIN’T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH (Classical Theatre of Harlem), SCHOOLED (WOW Café Theatre), and BLACK GIRL (Sande Shurin Theatre). As a journalist, her work has been published in “The Boston Globe,” “Essence,” “Newsweek,” and “The Commercial Appeal.” She graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a major in African-American Studies and Creative Writing. She was awarded top departmental honors from the university’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS). In 2005, she graduated from the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. She is now a student in the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. She is a proud member of the Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab, the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, and the Dramatists Guild.


About the Director: ahdri zhina mandiela

Director - ahdri zhina mandielaJamaica born and Toronto based ahdri zhina mandiela is the Founder and past Artistic Diirector of b current Performing Arts, and is best known as a performance poet and theatre director. In addition to two books of poetry published by Sister Vision Press — Speshal Rikwes (1985), and dark diaspora…in dub (1991) — her who knew grannie: a dub aria was published in 2012 by Playwrights Canada Press, and other writings makes occasional appearances in several anthologies of contemporary Canadian writers since the 80’s. She’s recorded two cassettes: first and last, barefoot & black, and a 17-track CD, step/into my head on her bushooman rag label. Her seminal documentary film: on/black/stage/women has played festivals worldwide and broadcasted on TV. Past work with Black Theatre Workshop include Stuck (2002), the 1st rock.paper.sistahz Festival (2003), Ndito & Amandina (2003-2004), Maija of Chaggaland (2004), and Tightrope Time (2004). Other professional theatre credits include: The Dream Catchers (2017), diaspora Dub (2016), Obeah Opera (2012), Who Knew Grannie: A Dub Aria (2010), Wise.Woman (2009), Scratch (2008),  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007 & 2008), Fallen Angel & the Devil Concubine (2006)

mandiela’s works-in-progress: black.stage.canada, a new media project, and crossing borders: uncovering artistic roots/routes to and from canada. @azmandiela


Actor - Tristan D Lalla Tristan D. Lalla | Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Career highlights include over 70 plays, musicals, and staged readings across Canada (and with Black Theatre Workshop that includes – A Raisin In The Sun, The Lamentable Tragedy Of Sal Capone, the multi META award winning The Adventures Of A Black Girl In Search Of God and most recently Angélique a co-production with Tableau D’Hôte Théâtre), as well as dozens of feature films and television shows (Nine Lives, 19-2, Brick Mansions, Red 2, Quantico, How She Move), and over 20 video games (such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Watch Dogs, Deus Ex, and Far Cry). Tristan is a Dawson College Professional Theatre honours graduate. He was a member of the 2015-16 ensemble at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and has recurring roles on the upcoming television shows 21 Thunder for CBC, and The Disappearance for CTV/NBC. @tdlalla


Actor - Letitia BrookesLetitia Brookes | Camae

Letitia graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University in 2012. Before graduating she started her company, Nu Spyce Productions, in 2011 with the production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange at MainLine Theatre, where she served as producer and co-actor. She also served as producer, director and co-actor in Nu Spyce’s St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival production of SINGLE BLACK FEMALE. Theatre credits include Twelfth Night, or What You Will (Repercussion Theatre), the original production of Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of (urban ink productions & Black Theatre Workshop) as well as the 2016 remount in Vancouver and Whitehorse and another upcoming remount in 2018 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (Sal Capone Productions & NAC), The Sound of Cracking Bones (Imago Theatre & Geordie Theatre Productions),  Oroonoko (Persephone Productions), and To Kill a Mockingbird (Geordie Theatre Productions). Recent film and TV credits include The Gift, Zoe, Jack Ryan, 19-2, Being Human, The Will and A Stranger in My Home. Letitia was a member of Black Theatre Workshop’s 2013/2014 Artist Mentorship Program, and was honoured with the 2014 Gloria Mitchell-Aleong Award at BTW’s Vision Gala.  She also completed a producing apprenticeship in Toronto through Obsidian Theatre Company’s Mentor Apprentice Program which had her working with Tarragon Theatre in 2014.


Creative Team:

Set & Costume Design: Eo Sharp

Set & Costume - Eo SharpEo Sharp designed the sets and costumes for The Mountaintop.  Past productions with Black Theatre Workshop include Angélique  and Bluenose (2003), and with Neptune Theatre World Without Shadows. Recent Productions include You Will Remember Me (Centaur Theatre), Intractable Woman (Imago Theatre),  Alice in Wonderland, and Pygmalion (Shaw Festival). Eo has worked at theatres large and small across the country including the Stratford Festival, the other theatre, the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Clowns Gone Bad, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Junction, and Geordie Productions. Upcoming shows include The Baklawa Recipe (Centaur Theatre) and Love and Information (Canadian Stage). Eo is a member of both APASQ and the ADC.


Stage Manager: Birdie Gregor

Stage Manager - Birdie GregorBirdie works professionally in Quebec and Nova Scotia as an actor, stage-manager, teacher and director. She has also recently become producer and company founder at Playshed, a newly fledged theatre company. Playshed’s first production, COCK by Mike Bartlett, was nominated for ‘Outstanding Independent Production 2016’ at the Montreal English Theatre Awards (METAs). Birdie has had the privilege to work on some incredible pieces over the years, select credits include; 4 time 2015 META winner and the English Montreal Premiere of Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna (Tableau D’Hôte Theatre); 3 time 2015 META winner Travesties (Segal Centre for Performing Arts); Atlantic Fringe’s Best of Festival Winner 2015 Punch Up (Theatre Brouhaha presented by Highland Arts Theatre); and 2014 META winner Good People (Centaur Theatre Company). 


Apprentice Stage Manager: Stephen Alarie 

ASM - Stephen AlarieA graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Technical Theatre program, Stephen is very pleased to come on board for the production of The Mountaintop. His previous Apprenticeship Credits include Around the World in 80 Days (Lac Brome/Geordie), Angélique (Black Theatre Workshop/Tableau D’Hôte), Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv (Infinitheatre), Prom Queen: The Musical and The Secret Annex (Segal Centre for Performing Arts). Additionally, he has been Assistant Stage Manager on the Yiddish productions at the Segal Centre for the past two seasons which included The Producers and It Shoulda Been You (DWYT). Other recent production roles he has done include Stage Manager for Hansel & Gretel (Opera da Camera), Lear (JAC Theatre) and The Dumb Waiter (Collective Productions), Head of Props for Hot L Baltimore (JAC Theatre) and Lighting Designer for Cabaret (JAC Theatre). Furthermore, he has done prop building for films such as X-Men: Apocalypse, and directed Collective Productions’ The Bad Guys.


Lighting Designer: David Perreault Ninac

Lighting Design - David Perreault NinacsSince graduating from NTSC, David has designed over 70 theatre shows and he has done lighting for visual arts shows, corporate galas, dance and musical shows. This will be his second collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop and first with Ms. Mandiela. David is more than happy to be able to create again with Ms. Sharp (with whom he has won a MECCA’s award for the Best Look category). After more than twenty years of this life, he still believes that light in all its forms is worth looking into more closely.



Sound Design & Composition: Rob Denton

Sound Design - Rob DentonRob Denton is an independent sound designer and composer. Previous shows with BTW include Harlem Duet (META nomination for Sound Design and Composition), Gas Girls (META Nomination for Composition), and She Said, He Said. Rob is nominated for a Composition/Sound Design META for Geordie’s production of The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, adapted
and directed by Amanda Kellock.



To book a school group, purchase tickets or for more information on the play contact or call BTW at 514-932-1104