It's good to be Katori Hall. At 28 this Craigmont High grad became the first female African-American playwright to win an Olivier Award. Her acclaimed play The Mountaintop is slated to open on Broadway this fall with an A-list cast ( Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry are the names being floated at the moment). She was awarded a PONY fellowship by the Lark Play Development Center, an award with benefits that include one year's free housing in an apartment in the heart of New York's the theatre district, and a living stipend.
Last week I met Katori at The Little Pie Company on 43rd Street in Hell's Kitchen to scarf down one of TLPC's apple, sour cream, and walnut pies and to talk about how she went from being an usher for A Tuna Christmas at Playhouse on the Square in Midtown Memphis, to being the belle of the London stage.