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Mamet pushes buttons with “Race” play

Play set to debut in Richmond Nov. 29

11/26/2013, 3:13 p.m. | Updated on 11/26/2013, 3:19 p.m.
“Race” by David Mamet in Theatre Gym at the Virginia Rep Center, in Downtown Richmond’s historic Arts District, will run Nov. 29 - Dec. 21.

Carol Piersol and African American Carol Piersol and African American Repertory Theatre have joined together to bring what is being called an “incendiary” play to Richmond.

“Race” by David Mamet in Theatre Gym at the Virginia Rep Center, in Downtown Richmond’s historic Arts District, will run Nov. 29 - Dec. 21. Bill Patton (“You Don’t Know Me”, “Something Intangible”, “Fast Hands”) directs an all-star Richmond cast, featuring Billy Christopher Maupin (A Bright New Boise, Twelfth Night, Smoke on the Mountain), d.l. Hopkins (Cyrano de Bergerac, Fast Hands, Edmund), Katrinah Carol Lewis (Good People, Gidion’s Knot, Twelfth Night), and Joe Inscoe (Death of a Salesman, My Fair Lady, Drawer Boy).

Mamet’s wicked and scathing courtroom comedy makes its Virginia premiere. With his trademark verbal pyrotechnics, Mamet unleashes two attorneys (Maupin and Hopkins) and the firm’s young associate (Lewis) as they scramble to decide if they want to represent a wealthy white man (Inscoe) accused of assaulting a black woman.

Race lures its audience into an enthralling web where “the dialogue is tasty, the confrontations spiky, and the observations more than occasionally biting” (Variety). In signature Mamet style, the play pushes buttons, exposing the dark underbelly of sexual and racial politics in the American justice system.

“I loveDavid Mamet,” said Pierson, the play’s producer. “His rapid fire dialogue, his willingness to push boundaries and his dark humor have fascinated and intrigued me for decades.

“In ‘Race’, Mamet deals with relationships, sex, rape, the law, and of course, that illusive most taboo topic and four-letter word — race.

“I have worked with d.l. Hopkins for many years and as soon as he took over AART we met and decided we wanted to do a project together. I had seen a production of “Race” at Theatre J and mentioned it to d.l. who agreed it would be the perfect show for us to work on. And with the help of Virginia Rep, here we are, producing this explosive, provocative, and controversial piece for our Richmond audience!”

Performances are scheduled on Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 8 a.m. and Dec. 1, 8, 15 at 4 p.m. at Theatre Gym, 114 W. Broad St., Richmond.

Talkbacks with the cast and special guests will follow Friday evening performances on Dec. 6, 13 and 20.

For ticket information, visit the website, www.race.brownbagtickets.com.