Resident director Chuck Smith directs a four-member ensemble including Patrick Clear (King Lear, The Clean House); Marc Grapey (Vigils; Dead Man's Cell Phone at Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Geoffrey Owens ("The Cosby Show"; Julius Caesar at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC) and Tamberla Perry (In the Next Room or the vibrator play at Victory Gardens Theater, Eclipsed at Northlight Theatre).
"Race, to me, is the most in-your-face play that I've dealt with on the subject of race in America, and David Mamet does it in an intriguing, effective way — sharp, precise, right to the point," said director Smith in a previous statement. "There are uncomfortable questions raised in this play, but I think it's every theatre's job to address contemporary issues and mirror our society. Race carries on a conversation that is essential to us individually and collectively."
Race, according to the Goodman, "begins as a crime mystery, as two high-profile lawyers — Henry (Geoffrey Owens) who is black, and Jack (Marc Grapey) who is white — are called to defend a wealthy white client Charles (Patrick Clear) who is charged with the rape of an African American woman. The client admits that he was intimate with his accuser but vehemently denies the charges of rape, insisting that the sex was consensual and that he and the woman were in love. As the two lawyers mull over the potential pitfalls in accepting the case — among them contemporary racial politics and myriad unclear details from the alleged crime scene — they enlist the help of their new associate, Susan (Tamberla Perry), a black woman in her 20s. Susan openly admits that she thinks Charles is guilty and makes a critical administrative error that prematurely forces the firm to take on the controversial case — and casts suspicion onto Susan's motives. In the lawyers' struggle to find the truth, their own prejudices are exposed, and they quickly discover that present-day racial and gender politics are as complex as the case in front of them."
Performances will continue through Feb. 19.
Tickets ($25 - $89) can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org, by phone at (312) 443-3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn).