Tuesday, October 2, 2012

San Jose Stage Company Opens Season 30 with David Mamet’s Race, America’s most controversial topic

San Jose, CA (September 25, 2012) – San Jose Stage Company opens its 30th season with Race by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Mamet. This crime mystery tackles America’s most controversial topic in a provocative tale of sex, guilt and bold accusations. Race opens at The Stage October 3, and runs through October 28.

Race is the central theme, but the issues are more than skin deep as the red-hot debate delves into questions of sex, gender equality and social class. This black-and-white courtroom drama never reaches the courtroom, and while not so black-and-white, it is a comic debate where the laughs may arrive well after the joke. 

Artistic Director, Randall King believes Race is perfect not only to open The Stage’s Season 30 but also for the election season. “In our lifetimes, the Civil Rights movement had led the Baby Boomers to believe that this social problem was addressed.  The appointment of Barack Obama to the White House as our 44th president has shown us that many are still uncomfortable with the subject of race, and it has polarized our society in a way that has been politely hidden for decades. David Mamet's Race will in this heated presidential election season create a fervent and important dialogue, because the answer to the racial problem is not something that a creed, law or affirmative action can readily resolve, instead it lies in the knowledge that our individual allegiances ‘lies only in the imperfect, and the mutually unacceptable result of their interaction’. “ *   (*Race, Mamet)

The significance of opening Season 30 with David Mamet’s Race not only exemplifies the company’s artistic mission but also represents The Stage’s roots in the early 1980s. The collective of artists who founded this company were premiering the work of new American playwrights. The Stage has produced Mamet’s American Buffalo (1985), Speed-the-Plow (1993), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1988 and 2008).

Tony Kelly returns to direct Race for The Stage, where he helmed the productions of Oliver Mayer’s Blade to the Heat, Octavio Solis’ Gibraltar, Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and David Mamet’s adaptation of Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya.

“The politics of Race weigh heavily on its characters, making them speak and act with sharp, barbed edges. Race is perhaps not about race, or sex, or power, or justice, but the sheer impossibility of humans living together without suspicion, mistrust, and shame,” states Director Tony Kelly. “That’s a truth both comic and dark, and it makes this particular play cut deeper, more often, than almost anything this legendary contemporary playwright has written.”

Performances are on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Race runs through October 28, 2012.

Tickets range from $20 - $45 and are available at www.thestage.org or by calling the box office at 408.283.7142. Visa and MasterCard are accepted, and discounts are available for groups, students and seniors. The theatre is handicapped accessible.

The Stage is located at 490 South First Street at William Street in downtown San Jose’s South First (SoFA) area.

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The Cast of Race: 

David Arrow* (Charles Strickland) returns to The Stage, having appeared in last season’s World Premiere of Buffalo’ed and On The Waterfront. His other Bay Area appearances include American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

L. Peter Callender* (Henry Brown) returns to The Stage, where he was last seen in Blade to the Heat. Most recent appearances include at James in Circle Mirror Transformations at Marin Theatre Company and Skyes in Spunk at California Shakespeare Theatre. He is the artistic director of African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco and has appeared in all major theatres in the Bay Area.

Randall King* (Jack Lawson) is the co-founder and Artistic Director of San Jose Stage Company. He was most recently seen as Dodge in Buried Child, Johnny Friendly in On The Waterfront, The Waiter in Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sharky in The Seafarer, Ariel in The Pillowman and Richard Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross.

ZZ Moor (Susan) is making her Bay Area debut at The Stage. She has worked at the Denver Center and recently played Lady Anne in Richard III at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She was the winner of the Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role in For Colored Girls… in 2010.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Tony Kelly (Director) most recently directed the New York premiere of Colman Domingo's A Boy and His Soul at the Vineyard Theatre, where it won the 2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show in New York City and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Broadway/Off-Broadway production. He is a founding member of Thick Description in San Francisco, where he directed 43 productions over 21 years.

The show’s designers include Michael Palumbo (set and lighting), Jean Cardinale (costumes) and John Koss (sound).

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About San Jose Stage Company:

Now in its 30th season, San Jose Stage Company is recognized as The Bay Area's Premiere Off-Broadway Theatre. The Stage is known for its devotion to new and cutting-edge work and for its commitment to showcasing high-quality local talent.

Ranked 3rd largest theatre and 9th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Survey (May 2012), San Jose Stage Company is a vital force in the community. The Stage has earned a reputation for artistic excellence by providing high-quality, edgy theatrical experiences that engage, educate and provoke audiences. The Stage has produced 143 productions, 44 new works and 11 world premieres.

The Stage also offers five core educational and outreach programs, including National High School Top Honors Awards and has housed over 200 independent performance groups in its theatre. The Stage is located at 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

For more information www.thestage.org            Box Office: 408.283.7142

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