Michael Shooner, Reggie Willis & Renika Williams. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.
Cincinnati, OH – New Edgecliff Theatre closes its 2014-15 season with RACE by David Mamet, a frank look at the personal biases that exist even in the most progressive of individuals. The multi-award winning American playwright tackles America’s most controversial topic in a provocative new tale of sex, guilt and bold accusations.
Two lawyers, one white and one black, find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with raping a black woman. When a new legal assistant gets involved in the case, the opinions that boil beneath explode to the surface. When the spotlight is turned on what we think but can’t say, dangerous truths are revealed, and no punches are spared.
The production is directed by Northern Kentucky University Professor Daryl Harris. A 40-year veteran of traditional and experimental theatre, Harris has studied and worked as a producer, writer, director, actor, costume designer, professor and lecturer throughout the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, West Africa, China and Australia. Harris’ work involves multicultural programming and projects that link the Underground Railroad Movement to the fields of theatre and dance, connecting themes emerging from the Movement to current social problems in ways that promote understanding and greater social harmony.
Harris has gathered an exciting cast of actors for this intense story. Michael Shooner and Reggie Willis play the law partners who take on the potentially explosive case of a new client played by Bob Allen. All three actors are well known to Cincinnati audiences having appeared in previous New Edgecliff Theatre productions as well as at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and many other theatres. Joining these accomplished local actors is Renika Williams. Ms. Williams comes to the New Edgecliff stage from Dayton where she attends Wright State University.
Producing Artistic Director Jim Stump read the play two years ago and realized how important the story was. “This play does not revolve around a major racial incident; rather it examines race on a personal level. It makes us acknowledge that no matter how free of prejudice we believe we may be, we often find biases buried deep in our character,” says Stump. “Here we have people who are dedicated to the pursuit of justice for all. By the end of the play the trial hasn’t even begun.”
RACE by David Mamet
Presented by New Edgecliff Theatre
April 9-25, 2013, 7:30pm
The Hoffner Lodge, 4120 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223
For tickets visit www.cincyticket.com or 1-888-428-7311 For more information visit http://www.newedgecliff.com .
RACE by David Mamet
Multiple Award-winning playwright/director David Mamet tackles America’s most controversial topic in a provocative new tale of sex, guilt and bold accusations. Two lawyers find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with raping a black woman. When a new legal assistant gets involved in the case, the opinions that boil beneath explode to the surface. When David Mamet turns the spotlight on what we think but can’t say, dangerous truths are revealed, and no punches are spared.
David Mamet is the author of the plays: Race, Keep Your Pantheon, School, November, Romance, Boston Marriage, Faustus, Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, The Old Neighborhood, A Life in the Theatre, Speed-the-Plow, Edmond, Lakeboat, The Water Engine, The Woods, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Reunion and The Cryptogram (1995 Obie Award). His translations and adaptations include: Faustus and Red River by Pierre Laville; and The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov. His films include: The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, The Untouchables, House of Games (writer/director), Oleanna (writer/director), Homicide (writer/director), The Spanish Prisoner (writer/ director), Heist (writer/director), Spartan (writer/director) and Redbelt (writer/director). Mr. Mamet is also the author of: Warm and Cold, a book for children with drawings by Donald Sultan, and two other children’s books, Passover and The Duck and the Goat; Writing in Restaurants, Some Freaks, and Make-Believe Town, three volumes of essays; The Hero Pony and The China Man, a book of poems; Three Children’s Plays, On Directing Film, The Cabin, and the novels The Village, The Old Religion and Wilson. His most recent books include the acting books, True & False and Three Uses of the Knife. Glengarry Glen Ross was awarded the Tony® Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2005.
Daryl Harris (Director) is a 45 year veteran of traditional, experimental/alternative, applied and academic theatre on five continents. At NKU’s Department of Theatre and Dance since 2003, he has taught race-, gender-, and class-related courses while also coordinating multi-cultural programming. Local directing credits include NET’s production of Fugard’s MASTER HAROLD…and the boys, ArtsWave’s original touring production of Joe McDonough’s Cincinnati: City of Immigrants, and All Shades Theater’s world premiere of Prabir Das’ Celebrated Silence –Anisha Singh’s story of lifelong sexual victimization in India.
Michael Shooner (Jack) A Cincinnati native and alumnus of Edgecliff College, Michael left town in 1979 on a 17-year performing odyssey that included stints in Los Angeles, Seattle and Montana. Upon returning to Cincinnati, he founded New Edgecliff Theatre in 1998. An Actor’s Equity member since 1977, he has appeared locally with Cincinnati Playhouse, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Clifton Players and Falcon Theatre. Some favorite roles include Dysart in Equus, Teach in American Buffalo, Ralph in Frozen, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Joe Keller in All My Sons, Leonard in Seminar, Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross and Cliff in The Woolgatherer. As always, he thanks his lovely wife Pam for her patience, support and the constant surprise.
Renika Williams (Susan) is a rising graduating Acting Major at Wright State University from Dayton, OH. She feels extremely fortunate and blessed to be a part of this production of Race with New Edgecliff Theatre Company because of the current issues in our country today that surround the subject. Renika’s past roles include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Anya u/s in The Cherry Orchard, Myrtle Mae in Harvey, The Dynamites in Hairspray, and she was also a touring ensemble member of IMPACT Children’s Theatre at Jean’s Playhouse in New Hampshire last summer. She would like to give a huge thank you to the Acting faculty at WSU, family, and friends for all their guidance, love, and support. (Romans 8:28)
Reggie Willis (Henry) has performed in numerous Productions in the Cincinnati area since 1979. He has performed at Clifton Performance Theater, Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theater, Know Theater, Cincy Shakes, Arts Consortium, Xavier University, and The Carnegie His most recent performances include The Whale, Harvey, Hot Damn it’s the Loveland Frog, The Riverside, Driving Miss Daisy, and August Osage County. Reggie would like to say “Thank You” to everyone who has supported me during my 36 years of performing.
Robert Allen (Charles Strickland) Last season Bob appeared in our production of Bus Stop, as Dr. Lyman, for which he received the League of Cincinnati Theatres award for Featured Actor in a Play. You may also have seen him in our productions of Other People’s Money, The Night of the Iguana, Fool for Love and Three the Hard Way. Bob just completed a sold-out run of August: Osage County with Clifton Players. His recent performances include: Nightwalkers (premiere), Buckeye (premiere) and A Streetcar Named Desire. He also directed the premiere production of Soldier’s Christmas and both directed and appeared in New Edgecliff Theatre’s annual fund raiser, the radio recreation production of Miracle on 34th Street.