The Mountaintop and the Trope of Religion, Spirituality and Consciousness in African American Theater

  • Kimmika Williams- Witherspoon Temple University
Keywords: African American theatre, theatre studies, Katori Hall


This paper examines the trope of religion; spirituality and consciousness in the hit play, The Mountaintop (2009) by Katori Hall. In this popular work, on the night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s tragic assassination, the playwright reimagines the Angel of Death and how individuals who fight for justice, daily battle with fear, responsibility and the precariousness of life.

Author Biography

Kimmika Williams- Witherspoon, Temple University

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement and Vice President of the Faculty Senate at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. She is the author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) Her stage credits include over 20 productions, 8 one-woman shows and she has performed poetry in over 110 national and international venues. Williams-Witherspoon is a contributing poet
to 38 anthologies and author of 11 books of poetry. Her work centers around pedagogy, women’s issues, the African diaspora, performance rituals and community engagement.


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