‘The Niceties’ returns to the M.V. Playhouse

Amy Brenneman, left, and Tsilala Brock star in a reading of "The Niceties." — Courtesy M.V. Playhouse

The M.V. Playhouse welcomes back “The Niceties,” starring Amy Brenneman with Tsilala Brock, live online on Monday, March 22, at 7 pm, and then streaming online from March 23 to April 4.

The play, written by Eleanor Burgess and directed by Joann Green Breuer, tells the story of race, history, and power in the U.S., through a black student and her white professor as they debate whether the legacy of slavery defines the country’s past and present.

“The Niceties” made its M.V. Playhouse debut in October as a live virtual reading and is back by popular demand for a virtual two-week run, according to a press release from the playhouse. Amy Brenneman and Tsilala Brock will reprise their roles as Janine and Zoe.

In this 2016 “barnburner of a play” (Washington Post), a debate between a student of color and her white university professor begins as a polite disagreement of perspectives and erupts into a fierce skirmish regarding the nature of race and power in American history, threatening real-life consequences for both of their lives and careers.

Amy Brenneman, five-time Emmy nominee, divides her time evenly between acting, producing, and political activism. She is well known for a litany of theater, film, and TV credits including “Judging Amy,” “Private Practice,” “The Leftovers,” and currently, “Tell Me Your Secrets.”

On the Vineyard, Brenneman has appeared in several staged readings at the M.V. Playhouse and has performed at the Yard.

New York-based actress, singer, and dancer Tsilala Brock most recently served as assistant dance captain and swing in the national tour of “The Book of Mormon.” Several years ago, she appeared in two M.V. Playhouse Shakespeare productions at the Tisbury Amphitheater. Brock currently produces and co-hosts a new podcast called “UNCK! Getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations.”

Director Joann Green Breuer is a long-time artistic associate at M.V. Playhouse, where she has directed more than 20 productions, including “Dear Elizabeth,” “Tennessee Williams: Original Acts,” and “Faith Healer,” among others. Breuer previously taught acting and served as faculty advisor for the student Experimental Theater at Harvard University. She is a co-founder of the multi-awardwinning Cambridge Ensemble, and is a recipient of the Boston critics’ Eliot Norton Award for Continuous Excellence in Directing.

Tickets for “The Niceties” are $15 (discounted for members) and are available at mvplayhouse.org. Net proceeds from the virtual production will support M.V. Playhouse and its community partner, the M.V. Diversity Coalition, and also, the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, an organization that serves Greater Boston.