Theatre doesn’t get much more topical than the Niceties, Eleanor Burgess’s searing play about power, racism and cancel culture.
In another twist of timeliness, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse has produced a Zoom reading of the work, starring Island actress Amy Brenneman and Tsilala Brock, which is available for streaming through Oct. 31.
As David Mamet’s Oleanna did in the 1990s—though without the violence that flares in the earlier play—The Niceties pits student against teacher, as a simple academic disagreement balloons into a career-ending cataclysm.
Directed by Joann Green Breuer, the two-act drama moves as quickly as the minds of its characters, an Ivy League professor at the top of her field (Ms. Brenneman) and a brilliant, assertive African American student (Ms. Brock).
To watch the stream of Wednesday’s live performance, visit mvplayhouse.org/theater/2020/10/the-niceties before midnight Saturday. Proceeds support the playhouse, the Union of Minority Neighborhoods and the Movement Voter Project.