For Black History Month, the Grambling State University Department of Visual and Performing Arts presented The Mountaintop, directed by Karl V. Norman.
This play was full of thoughts that moved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on that catastrophic last day of his life, in Room 306 of the now famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The original actors of the play when it first debuted were Samuel L. Jackson and co-star Angela Bassett.
Grambling Performing Arts is very sincere in creating momentous theatrical plays that give the audience a feel for the acts that go on in Floyd L. Sandle Theater.
The Mountaintop play was prompt April 4, 1968 first premiered, with characters Dr. Martin Luther King and Camae.
The play not only captured the audience’s attention in the deposition of King’s assassination, but gave a comical experience at that.
It was set in the same setting but never lost the audience. One cannot fathom the steps it took to walk in his shoes. The play really created MLK’s thoughts, conveyed from Adarian Demonte’ Williams, who played Dr. King.
His friend leaves to go to the store, when a lovely young maid, Camae, visits him unexpectedly to deliver coffee; King is brought to his breaking point to confront before his eyes his past and the future of all mankind.
Williams’ portrayal of MLK strikes the crowd with laughter and serious matters of what goes on, then and now.
Williams, a sophomore, was skeptical about playing King at first when he was chosen for the character after giving the “I have a dream” speech.
“I had to learn everything about him, read a book and go to the Lorraine Hotel, which is now an African American museum. I got to see Martin Luther King Jr. room he stayed in,” Williams said. “It was worth it.”
His sixth show, Williams is trying to pursue acting, and is aware of the police brutality now and during the Martin Luther King Jr. era.
In The Mountaintop, King is practicing his speech, pacing across the room, reading and reciting. That’s when a very pretty maid, Camae (played by Klervae’ Norelle Stinson), comes in delivering coffee.
She easily takes King on, making him forget about his worries, comforting him and mysteriously leading him through his past to a future reality that he has to come to terms with.
“With everything going on today, it is a story that needs to be heard, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to present this,” said Stinson, a Grambling graduate who returned to GSU. With a multitalented way of doing things, she is pursing acting, despite troubling life circumstances.