Mamet explains the plot, which has been kept secret until now, this way: "In my play a firm made up of three lawyers, two black and one white, is offered the chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black young woman. It is a play about lies." He adds: "All drama is about lies. When the lie is exposed, the play is over."
Mentioning the current President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, he notes that the dialogue about race has been addressed in drama since John Stone's 1829 work Metamora. "My current play, Race, is intended to be an addition to that dialogue," states Mamet, who is quick to add his disadvantage. "As a Jew, I will relate that there is nothing a non-Jew can say to a Jew on the subject of Jewishness that is not patronizing, upsetting or simply wrong. I assume that the same holds true among African-Americans." (For more from Mamet, visit NYTimes.com.)
James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington and Richard Thomas will headline the work directed by Mamet himself. Rehearsals begin Oct. 19 toward a Nov. 17 first preview and Dec. 6 official opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.