PORTSMOUTH — New Hampshire Theatre Project presents “The Niceties” by Eleanor Burgess, an explosive new play focused on race, beginning Friday and running through Oct. 27.

“The Niceties” stars Genevieve Aichele and Malikah McHerrin-Cobb, is directed by Catherine Stewart, and is being produced in partnership with the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity based at the University of New Hampshire.

At an elite East Coast university, an ambitious young black student and her esteemed white professor meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly, discussions of grammar and Google turn to race and reputation, and before they know it, they’re in dangerous territory.

“As part of our provocative 2019-2020 season we will be challenging our artists and our audiences to think deeply about the many aspects of life we take for granted,” said Stewart.

The theme ‘Can one person make a difference?’ will carry through NHTP’s MainStage, and into other areas of programming this season, including classes and workshops.

Performances on Friday and Saturday are at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. More information and tickets, including discounted opportunities, visit www.nhtheatreproject.org.