“Oleanna,” a presentation of the Sul Ross State University Department of Visual and Performing Arts, opens Friday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m.
“Oleanna” was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet. When female undergraduate student Carol meets with male university professor John to discuss her failing grade, their brief encounter leads to accusations that threaten John’s career. The play examines issues of sexual harassment, abuse of power, privilege, gender dynamics and political correctness on a college campus.
“Oleanna” premiered on Broadway in 1992 starring William H. Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon. In its review of the play, The New York Times noted, “A year later, a mere newspaper photograph of Anita F. Hill can revive those feelings of rage, confusion, shame, and revulsion that were the country’s daily diet during the Senate hearings on Clarence Thomas. Sexual harassment remains such a hot button [topic]. Enter David Mamet, who with impeccable timing has marched right into the crossfire. ‘Oleanna,’ the playwrights’ new drama is an impassioned response to the Thomas hearings.”
“This play feels very timely,” said director and Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Marjie Scott. “The issues of power dynamics, sexual harassment and censorship are still so relevant, especially on college campuses. What I love about this play is that both characters are culpable. John and Carol each manipulate and abuse power. Even after working on this play for months, I find myself looking at both sides and feeling sympathy and outrage.”
“Oleanna” runs weekends Oct. 13-29 in the François Fine Arts Building Studio Theatre with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. General admission is $15 and $10 for seniors aged 65 and older. Admission is free for all SRSU students, faculty and staff with valid I.D. and for all U.S. veterans.
For tickets, visit www.bit.ly/sulross-theatre or call 432-837-8218. Reservations are recommended.
“Oleanna” is directed by Marjie Scott with scenic and lighting design by Ross Fleming and costume design by Carolyn Barrientes. The play features students Justin Hinton and Olivia Pertuso. It contains violence, strong language, and mature themes that may not be suitable for children under 14 years of age.
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