Race; a Play by David Mamet Directed by Lisa L. Abbott
Sept. 24 – Oct. 1 Black Box Theatre, Center for Art & Theatre
Race explores the tension between perception and intent when a law firm of three attorneys, two black and one white, defend a
white man charged with a crime against a black woman. Thought provoking and challenging, THIS PLAY IS RECCOMEDNED FOR
MATURE AUDIENCES DUE TO CONTENT AND LANGUAGE.
contact the box office at 478-5379 for reservations.
“You’re white.” – “Is that a crime?” – “In this instance.”
This production is not a statement about race in the larger context of society but a case study, presented by a playwright who has functioned as a provocateur for much of his career. We look at a singular instance where race and the perception of race impact the lives of the people involved. From a controversial point of view Mamet examines race in the context of the justice system, business, and gender. However, be aware that Mamet is not trying to answer any questions about the role of race in our society, he is asking you to think, react, and respond.
Racism is a cultural issue, a public policy issue, a complicated issue. It is not an issue that can be resolved purely through individual actions; it is an issue that must be addressed at a public policy level. To move toward change at that level, we must start the conversation. As we have been exploring this play the cast has discussed guilt and innocence, privilege and perception, and the power dynamics of both race and gender. We have discovered both the challenge and the pleasure of open and honest discussions of this topic Mamet claims cannot be discussed.
Race is a part of our world, ignoring the complexities of race, gender, age, and class do not make the issues disappear, rather they allow them to fester, to explode and to damage.
A note on the language. Language is a powerful tool and Mamet uses it to destroy your comfort level. To make you squirm. Being uncomfortable forces us to examine that which is making us feel that way. Hopefully that will lead us to discussions of the issues raised, discoveries over the meanings of words, the power of words to frame reality. As pointed out to the cast by Sociologist, Dr. Nathan Palmer, privilege allows us the power of framing reality. These lawyers are not arguing over the guilt or innocence of their client but the framing of reality.
The goal of the cast and crew is that you, our audience walk away tonight engaged in a discussion. That you examine your own prejudices. Think about how you frame reality in your use of language or your acceptance, rejection, or choice to ignore or minimize the issue of race in our culture. If we make you mad, make you think, and make you question then we have done our job.