David Mamet’s 2009 Broadway play, “Race,” focuses on two lawyers defending a well-to-do white man charged with raping a black woman. Carol Piersol and the African American Repertory Theatre’s production sets up a tension-filled exploration of racial relations. The only laughs it seeks to elicit are of the nervous variety. Directed by Bill Patton and starring Billy Christopher Maupin, D.L. Hopkins, Katrinah Carol Lewis and Joe Inscoe, the play is filled with the taut wordplay and plot twists that define Mamet’s work. Avoid this production if you put a premium on social niceties. But if you’re comfortable with being made to feel uncomfortable, don’t miss this provocative work. “Race” premieres Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Virginia Repertory Theatre. For ticket information and show times, call 282-2620 or go to va-rep.org.