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Carver Imagines Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last Night In 'The Mountaintop'

Ron Abrams
The Mountaintop

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, and the Carver Cultural Center has found an interesting way of celebrating. They’re doing so with a play called "The Mountaintop."

"'The Mountaintop' is truly a fantastic piece that takes you through what possibly the last night of Martin Luther King’s life was like," said Danielle King, president of the Renaissance Guild, "San Antonio's black theater company."

The imagined scenario has Dr. King at Memphis’s Lorraine Motel the night before he was assassinated.

"And he has a visitor that comes to the room -- it’s a hotel maid because he has called down and asked for coffee," King said.

I noted that there are a lot of different ways to dramatize Dr. King, but this was a highly unusual one, and asked how they pull it off.

"Some fantastic writing, fantastic acting, fantastic directing," she said.

Bill Lewis, who is directing the play, said it's all about his lead actors:

"You have two very good actors playing the parts -- Kevin Majors and Jessica Mitchell," he said.

I noted how a two-person cast means there is a lot of pressure on them to keep the play moving, and to keep everyone's attention.

"Even though there’s only two characters there, you will be entertained," King said.

I asked King what can she could tell those coming to expect.

"Expect the unexpected," she said. "There is a twist, there is a turn that I cannot even reveal to your avid listeners!"

"The Mountaintop" is a 90-minute one-act play held at the Little Carver Theater starting Friday. But as it turns out, there’s even more than just a play.

"There is also a talk-back session at the end of each performance," King said. "We have invited some special guests -- poets, writers, authors."

Lewis said on Friday, former Express-News columnist Cary Clack will be the guest.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii