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The Human Race Theatre Opens RACE, 4/4


The Human Race Theatre is taking its core mission-"to present universal themes that explore the human condition and startle us all into a renewed awareness of ourselves"-to heart with David Mamet's Race. No stranger to divisive topics or candid conversation, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mamet (American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross) takes on the explosive subject of race relations. When two cynical lawyers-one black and one white-prepare to defend a powerful white businessman accused of raping a young black woman, they must confront their own perceptions and prejudices. Legal and ethical lines are crossed as shocking revelations come to light. But when their client's case takes a series of unexpected turns, they realize that not everyone is who they seem in this world of shame and guilt.

Filled with David Mamet's signature "Mamet speak" true-to-life dialogue and his desire to press hot-button issues, Race has recently become a popular play for regional theatres across the country after its 2009 Broadway premiere, produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, JAM Theatricals, JK Productions, Peggy Hill and Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Scott M. Delman, Terry Allen Kramer/James L. Nederlander, Swinsky Deitch, Bat-Berry Productions, Ronald Frankel, James Fuld Jr., Kathleen K. Johnson, Terry Schnuck, The Weinstein Company, Marc Frankel and Jay and Cindy Gutterman/Stewart Mercer.

The Human Race Theatre's production of Race is directed by Resident Artist Richard E. Hess (Doubt, Red, A Delicate Balance), Chair of Drama at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. In preparing for the task, Hess embraced Mamet's exploration of a universal-though rarely admitted to-truth. "Racism exists in all of us. We are all prejudiced. We are all carefully taught," he states. "David Mamet dares to point an unwavering finger at prejudice in Race. The story feels like it's ripped from the headlines of tomorrow's news."

Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore is just as excited about the script. "When I first read Race I could not put it down," says Moore. "Similar to a good 'who-done-it', I loved the dramatic twists and turns. The collision of great theatre and compelling message made it a 'must see' for our audiences."

The 4-member cast includes Human Race Resident Artists Bruce Cromer (Brother Wolf, I am My Own Wife), Alan Bomar Jones (Gem of the Ocean, Permanent Collection) and Michael Kenwood Lippert (Red, The Sunset Limited), plus actress Julia Pace Mitchell ("Sofia Dupre" on The Young and the Restless). "It is rare when we can pull together so many of our talented Resident Artists into one project. I am thrilled to have Alan, Bruce, Michael and Richard all working on this powerful script," says Kevin Moore. "And the addition of Julia, the gifted newcomer, will add just the right spice to this 'boys club'."

The set design is by Mark Halpin, costume design by Charis Weible and lighting design by Resident Artist John Rensel. Kay Carver is the production stage manager and Kristin A. Sutter is the stage manager.

Race runs April 4 through 21, 2013. Opening night is Friday, April 5.

The production sponsor for Race is Morris Home Furnishings, with additional support from Maryann and Jack Bernstein, and Jon and Diana Sebaly and Sebaly Shillito + Dyer.

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