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Road Less Traveled Productions seems dead-set on making its audiences think and talk about race. The small company’s nearly pitch-perfect production of Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” in 710 Main Theatre, which took up the racially fraught topic of gentrification, kicked that complex conversation off at a high level last fall. Now, with a production of David Mamet’s “Race” opening Friday in its eponymous theater at 639 Main St., RLTP is directing the talk back to the ever-present elephant in the room.

Mamet’s 2009 play, praised for its relentless drive and its complex airing of the issue at its heart, is a variation on a formula Mamet established with his popular 1988 drama “Speed-the-Plow.” It deals with three lawyers, two of whom are black and one white, tasked with defending a rich white man against accusations of raping a young black woman. If the setup sounds fraught with racial tension, the action and rapid-fire dialogue are more so.

Road Less Traveled’s production, directed by company co-founder Scott Behrend, stars Doug Zschiegner, Pete Johnson, Danica Riddick and Dave Hayes. Tickets are $17 to $35. Call 629-3069 or visit www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org.

-Colin Dabkowski