In October, 2015, Yale sent an email to its students urging them to avoid racially offensive Halloween costumes. Shortly afterwards, the campus was thrown into an uproar over freedom of expression, cultural sensitivity and safe learning environments.

Watching the events unfold online at her alma mater, playwright and Brookline native Eleanor Burgess was struck by how dysfunctional the debate around race and racism in America is.

Burgess was inspired to pen her newest play, “The Niceties,” which portrays an initially friendly conversation between a black student and a white professor devolving into an explosive debate about race, history, and power.

Burgess joined us on Under the Radar to discuss her inspiration for "The Niceties," now featured at the Huntington Theater Calderwood Pavilion.

Eleanor Burgess - Creator of "The Niceties," recipient of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award and 2011 Huntington Playwriting Fellow.
Kimberly Senior - Director of "The Niceties," 2016 recipient of the Alan Schneider Award.