Department of Pan-African Studies issues a statement on the fall 2015 regional premiere of "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall
The Department of Pan-African Studies' recent production of Katori Hall’s play, The Mountaintop, directed by Michael Oatman, has recently received national attention. We support Michael Oatman’s right to artist expression on the stage and certainly respect the vision and authorship of the playwright, Katori Hall.
The director’s attempt to probe how we hear the national discussion on race ultimately raises questions about the role of theatre, its writers, producers and performers in that conversation.Ultimately, what we envisioned is a conversation with the director’s use of creative artistic expression, the authenticity of the play expressed, and the playwright’s vision.
Certainly, this experiment provides us with a number of challenges articulated at a time when the nation is froth once again with multiple struggles facing African Americans, and all people of African descent. Finally, it raises and provides fruitful ground for the conversation on the boundaries of artistic license.
Chair and Associate Professor