In this riveting two-person drama Zoe, a black student, and Janine, her white professor, meet to discuss their differing views on Zoe’s paper about slavery and the American Revolution. This polite clash of ideas soon landslides into an explosive discussion of race, history, privilege, and social justice.

ASL-Interpreted Performance

In partnership with Pine Tree Society, Portland Stage is pleased to offer an ASL-interpreted performance of The Niceties on the evening of Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 pm. As such, please note that there will be two interpreters seated in front of the stage, house right, for the duration of this performance.

Seating for ASL-interpreted performances is located in the orchestra, house right. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available via Pine Tree Society, and advance reservations are required. Please contact Tim Wilbur at [email protected] or 207-386-5974 to reserve seats.

For more information about Pine Tree Society, visit

For additional discussions,

Quick Info


Eleanor Burgess

Eleanor Burgess‘ plays include The Niceties, Start Down, Chill, and These Dying Generations. Her work has been developed or produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Centenary Stage Company, the Lark Play Development Center, the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop, Everyday Inferno, Ryder Farm and Luna Stage. She’s been the recipient of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award, an EST/Sloan commission, a Keen Teens Commission, and the Susan Glaspell Award for Women Playwrights. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, studied history at Yale College, and recently completed the M.F.A in Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.