Every community – big and small – should have access to excellent, professional theatre. That’s the belief of Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, and fellow presenting theatres within the South Carolina Presenters Network. Now, they are collaborating with producing theatres to create South Carolina’s first statewide touring circuit, and The Mountaintop will serve as the inaugural production, hitting Harbison Theatre’s stage on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.
Produced by Charleston, S.C.’s PURE Theatre (regarded by the Charleston City Paper as “Charleston’s go-to for the best in contemporary theatre,”), The Mountaintop depicts the final evening of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, taking place in 1968 at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel with just two characters: King and hotel maid Camae, who turns his room service call into a stirring and poignant discourse marked with moments of levity and humor.
“I love this play because it shows one of our country’s greatest leaders as the person he was when no one was watching,” says Katie Fox, Executive Director of Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. “Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished amazing works and led thousands of people, but he was also a person who questioned himself, made mistakes and sought forgiveness.”
The launch of The Mountaintop’s tour this November marks the “tryout year” of the new statewide touring circuit, developed in March by Harbison Theatre and fellow South Carolina Presenters Network members, along with producing and touring theatres like PURE, in an effort to expand and ensure access to high-quality performance arts in all South Carolina communities.
It has been a longtime professional goal of Fox’s to make it easier for all communities to have access to professional theatre, believing everyone benefits from involvement with skilled artists – yet it’s hard for rural areas and smaller communities to afford top-rate, artistically strong touring groups.
As a part of this new statewide touring circuit, The Mountaintop will be presented in five theaters in Camden, Beaufort, Manning, Cheraw and here at Harbison Theatre in Columbia, the first theatre to invest in the circuit, giving it seed money to make smaller theatres’ commitments easier. Fox and fellow participating presenters are optimistic that the statewide touring initiative will be successful with The Mountaintop, and expand in years ahead.
The Mountaintop is one of 12 shows selected for Harbison Theatre’s 2014-2015 Signature Season. Individual show tickets and The Flex Pass, offering a 10% discount with the purchase of 4 or more tickets, can be purchased at www.HarbisonTheatre.org.
Buyers may also order tickets via phone at 803-407-5011, or in person at the Harbison Theatre Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office also will open two hours prior to each show in the Signature Series.
About Harbison Theatre
Rooted in the performing arts, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College offers programs and productions that encourage reflection, examination and discovery; and that provide entertainment, education and opportunity to professionals, learners and community members in all stages of life. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets, or pursue sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Harbison Theatre, please visit www.HarbisonTheatre.org.
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About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to four-year colleges and universities in the state, MTC enrolls approximately 18,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 30,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. www.midlandstech.edu
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