The award-winning Broadway play “Race” kicks off Fresno State’s University Theatre 2014-2015 season at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3.

It runs through Oct. 11 at the Woods Theatre in the Speech Arts building on campus with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 5.

The play, which premiered on Broadway in 2009 and was written by Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, is directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis, professor of Theatre Arts at Fresno State.

Set in a lawyer’s office, it depicts a racially charged rape case and the three attorneys — two black and one white – who grapple with their own attitudes about race while deciding whether to take the case.

The student cast of the Fresno State production of “Race” includes Ryan Woods, an American College Theatre Irene Ryan National Finalist in 2013 who appeared in University Theatre’s “Othello” last spring, and Breayre Tender, who appeared in “Clybourne Park” in 2013.

Other productions on the Theatre Arts Department calendar for the fall and spring semesters include faculty-directed shows in the John Wright and Woods theatres and student-directed shows in the Lab School theatre:

  • The Maids” runs Oct. 31 thru Nov. 8: two sisters who are maids act out fantasies of class, love, and revenge while the lady of the house is out on a romantic rendezvous.
  • The Experimental Theatre Company performs Nov. 14-16.
  • University Dance Theatre performs Nov. 20-22.
  • Cabaret” runs Dec. 5-13: a musical that takes place in pre-WWII Germany that features iconic songs like “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.”
  • The Contemporary Dance Ensemble performs Feb. 13-21, 2015.
  • The Experimental Theatre Company performs Apr. 17-19, 2015.
  • University Dance Theatre performs Apr. 23-25, 2015
  • Water by the Spoonful” runs March 13-21: follows the story of Elliot who has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. He discovers a chatroom with others whose lives are also on the brink of redemption.
  • My Genius of Humanity” runs May 1-9: a world premiere play for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military; and $10 for students. Cabaret prices vary. Group rates are also available. Box office hours are noon – 4 p.m. weekdays and one hour before curtain.

For more information or a brochure, contact Jason Burnias at 559.278.2216 or visit the Theatre Arts Department website.

(University Communications news assistant Akyia Westley contributed to this report).

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