Play tackles controversial issues of rape, sex and race

Race, the latest play from Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright David Mamet, makes it debut Nov. 7-10 at Tennessee State University, and will explore the questions of rape, sex and race.
Produced by the Theatre Department at TSU, the play will take place in the Cox-Lewis Theatre of the Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, however, Race contains adult language and is recommended for mature audiences.

Mamet’s play, which opened in December 2009 on Broadway and ran for just under 300 performances, tackles America’s most controversial topic in a provocative tale of sex, guilt and bold accusations. The story focuses on three attorneys, two Black and one White, who grapple with evidence to defend a White man charged with a crime against a Black woman, as well as their own personal feelings about race. The play features ethnic one-liners about guilt and shame that will provide fuel for the post-performance discussions.

Mamet is a two-time Oscar nominee, director, essayist, novelist and poet who has been a force in American theatre since 1976. His works include American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow and Oleanna. Mamet has also won acclaim for numerous screenplays, including The Verdict and Wag the Dog (both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Screenplay), as well as The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Untouchables.

The play premiered in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 2009, featuring renowned actors Kerry Washington, James Spader, David Alan Grier and Richard Thomas.

“We decided to bring this shocking play home to our campus to give our community an opportunity to discuss the continual issues of race in the U.S.,” said play director, Marc Payne.

Performances take place Nov. 7-9, at 7 pm, and Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 pm. Discussions will be held immediately following each performance and reservations should be made in advance by visiting (go to Race – the play at Tennessee State University, and register for each night with e-mail addresses).

For more information, contact Arianna Petty at .