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York College of PA Theatre to present play exploring night before MLK Jr. assassination on Oct. 19-21

September 19, 2023
Headshot of Acell Spencer

York College of Pennsylvania’s Theatre Program will produce “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall, the first of four shows throughout the academic year, in the Waldner Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m., Oct. 19, 20, and 21. The event is open to the public free of charge. For more information, call 717-600-3868.

“The Mountaintop” is a two-person play exploring the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and features two current Theatre majors. Acell Spencer ’24, of Catonsville, Md., tackles the role of MLK Jr., and Dora Boateng ’28, of Reading, Pa., makes her debut as a chambermaid working at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on that fateful evening.

Spencer may be familiar to audiences as he has performed in numerous shows at the College, including the live stream in Spring 2021 of “Macbeth,” and in both “Because They Have No Words” and “Topdog/Underdog” in 2022-23. “The Mountaintop” is part of his Senior Capstone project.

In “The Mountaintop,” MLK Jr. has just returned to his room after delivering a speech in front of a few thousand at the Mason Temple, a few blocks away from the Lorraine Motel. Exhausted and hoarse, but unable to rest, he begins to plan for his next meeting, his next march.

Playwright Katori Hall reimagines this night, the night before King’s assassination in April 1968, to give audience members an opportunity to view King as they remember him, as well as the chance to see sides of him that the audience may never have considered. The production is directed by New York-area director Des’ree Brown, the 2019 Region 2 Directing winner for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.