“Race” to premiere at Good Company Theatre

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Left to right, Malinda Money, Allen Smith, Lonzo Liggins and David Boice star in racially-charged “Race.” (Source: Good Company Theatre)

Located on Historic 25th Street, the Good Company Theatre group is no stranger to controversial and thought-provoking theatrical performances. Pushing the envelope on what is socially acceptable and challenging social norms is what audiences have come to expect of artistic director and WSU graduate Alicia Washington.

Through much of November Good Company Theatre will be showing “Race” by David Mamet. “Race” is a one-act play about three attorneys, two black and one white, and their involvement in a legal case between a white man and black woman.

Delving into the politics of race and sexual violence, “Race” follows wealthy white man, Charles Strickland, played by David Boice, accused of sexually assaulting an unknown black woman. When these allegations are splashed across national headlines, Strickland hires Henry Brown, played by Lonzo Liggins, and Jack Lawson, played by Allen Smith, to help him get exonerated of the sexual assault charges. Due to their different ethnicity, Strickland thinks Brown and Smith are his best options to help get him acquitted in court and retain his good standing in the public eye.

In a press release, Washington said, “’Race’ is one of the exceptional pieces of live theater that takes you on an unexpectedly suspenseful journey. David Mamet masterfully exploits the theatrical nature of trial law to deconstruct prickly, complicated issues with riveting, silver-tongued frankness.”

“Race” deals with adult themes and includes language and sexual violence that can be considered offensive. For these reasons, “Race” is not recommended for young or sensitive audience members.

Premiering on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in 2009, “Race” received mixed reviews. Some critics loved the quick wit and thought-provoking subject matter of the play. Despite the weight of violent, sexual crime and race in America, others reviewers thought “Race” lacked dramatic tension.

Performances of “Race” with run from Nov. 7 -22, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets for “Race” can be purchased online at goodcotheatre.com for $15. Tickets will also be available at the door for an additional convenience fee.

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