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Oleanna

Oleanna
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Mamet
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 49
Pub. Date: 1993
ISBN-10: 0822213435
ISBN-13: 9780822213437
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Play:

Oleanna was named by the Royal National Theatre of Britain as one of the top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Oleanna is a full length drama by David Mamet. A female student charges her male professor with sexual harassment in David Mamet's drama, which examines explosive contemporary issues – the assumption of power, intellectual freedom and sexual politics. Oleanna is a seething investigation of "political correctness" in a time when morality has been tested by increased incidents of sexual harassment.

Oleanna deals with haunting and difficult themes of sexual harassment, student/teacher relationships and political correctness. David Mamet's dual-character play focuses on a college student, Carol, who drops by her professor's office in an effort to gain his help to do better in class. John, the professor, in the midst of buying a house to celebrate his nomination for tenure, at first seems distant. Over the course of three encounters, David Mamet begs the audience to question what it means to be right or wrong. As the first meeting progresses the two discuss the nature of understanding and judgment in society, as well as their very own natures and places in our society. It seems as if a bond has been made. When next they meet we find that a report has been filed to the tenure committee. Carol has joined a "group" and has decided that John sexually harassed her during their first meeting. Their second meeting dissects the first; every word, every nuance of the first meeting has been twisted into something else. Or has it? John's unsuccessful attempts to convince Carol to retract her accusation escalate to a more dangerous level. The third meeting, one the court officers warned against, climaxes violently, leaving John and Carol both physically and emotionally devastated. The questions and conflict raised by this volatile drama are more relevant today than ever before and will ignite discussion and debate. Did a crime take place? Is Carol's eventual charge the only way of regaining power over John? Is the truth even relevant after such an accusation?

Oleanna premiered in 1992 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its New York premiere was in 1992 Off-Broadway at The Orpheum Theatre in New York City. Some of the many other notable major productions of Oleanna include the London premiere in 1993 at The Royal Court Theatre, the Australian premiere in 1993 with the Sydney Theatre Company and a London revival at the Garrick Theatre in 2004. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast : 1 woman, 1 man.

What people say:

"Mamet's clenched fist to the gut — and intellect … a vicious and timely riff on sexual harassment and political correctness. Pinter, Albee, Miller. They’re all looking over Mamet’s shoulder." — New York Magazine

"John and Carol go to it with hand-to hand combat that amounts to a primal struggle for power. As usual with Mamet, the vehicle for that combat is crackling, highly distilled dialogue unencumbered by literary frills or phony theatrical ones." — International Herald Tribune

"An ear for reproducing everyday language has long been David Mamet's hallmark and he has now employed it to skewer the dogmatic, puritannical streak which has become commonplace on and off the campus. With Oleanna he continues an exploration of male-female conflicts begun with Sexual Perversity in Chicago in 1974. Oleanna cogently demonstrates that when free thought and dialogue are imperilled, nobody wins." — The Independent (London)

"…wholly absorbing — a typically virtuoso display of Mr. Mamet's gift for locking the audience inside the violent drama of his characters… Oleanna is likely to provoke more arguments than any play this year." — New York Times

"One of the ten best plays of 1992 … reason enough to cheer for the future of the theatre." — Time Magazine

"Mamet has raised outrage to an art form... Oleanna is ... a scorcher. The woods are burning, and all of us are being seared in the fire." — The Boston Globe

About the Playwright:

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter as well as a director, novelist, poet, and essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including the Oscar-nominated The Verdict. His more than twenty plays include the Pulitzer Prizewinning Glengarry Glen Ross. His other awards include a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two OBIE Awards, two NYDCC Awards, and Outer Circle, Society of West End Theatre, and Dramatists Guild Hall-Warriner Awards.

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