Race Understudy Will Take Over for Kerry Washington on Broadway

News   Race Understudy Will Take Over for Kerry Washington on Broadway
Understudy Afton C. Williamson will succeed Kerry Washington in the Broadway production of David Mamet's legal drama, Race, starting on June 15 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Afton C. Williamson
Afton C. Williamson

Williamson (Joe Turner's Come and Gone), who has been with the production since it opened on Broadway Nov. 17, 2009, will assume the role of Susan. Washington will depart the production June 13 along with Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier. James Spader will exit the Broadway run June 20.

Williamson's regional credits include I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda, Crowns, The Beaux Strategem, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dr. Faustus, Death of a Salesman, James and the Giant Peach and Richard III.

As previously reported, Golden Globe-nominated "The Unit" and "24" actor Dennis Haysbert will succeed Grier in the role of Henry Brown. An announcement for the replacement for Spader is forthcoming.

Richard Thomas will be the only original cast member to remain with the production. Race continues through Aug. 21.

According to producers, Race concerns "three attorneys, two black and one white, [who] are offered a chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman." Mamet elaborated on the plot in an interview with the New York Times. "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. All drama is about lies. When the lie is exposed, the play is over."

The design team for Race includes Santo Loquasto (sets), Brian Macdevitt (lighting) and Tom Broecker (costumes).

Race is produced by on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jam Theatricals, JK Productions, Peggy Hill & Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Scott M. Delman, Terry Allen Kramer/James L. Nederlander, Swinsky Deitch, Bat-Barry Productions, Ronald Frankel, James Fuld Jr., Kathleen K. Johnson, Terry Schnuck, The Weinstein Company, Jay & Cindy Gutterman/Stewart Mercer and Marc Frankel.

Mamet's plays also include Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 2005 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), American Buffalo, Boston Marriage, November, Speed-the-Plow and The Cryptogram. He has penned the screenplays for such films as "The Verdict," "The Untouchables," "Wag the Dog" and his own adaptation of "Oleanna." He has twice been nominated for an Academy Award. He has written and directed ten films including "Homicide," "The Spanish Prisoner," "State and Main," "House of Games," "Spartan" and "Redbelt." His tense 1992 drama Oleanna made its Broadway debut last fall.

The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is located at 243 West 47th Street. For more information, visit RaceOnBroadway.com.

Tickets are available by visiting Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

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