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Oleanna: a Devilish Trap Of a Play at Playreaders

By Henry Vermillion

Oleanna by the contemporary American playwright David Mamet is a powerful two-person play about the relationship between a somewhat pompous university professor and one of his female students. The work will be presented Wednesday and Thursday, November 19 and 20 at St Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

By David Mamet
Wed and Thu, Nov 19 and 20
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
20 pesos

Carol has come to meet with her prof to plead for a change in her failing grade. They meet three times over a period of a week or more, and the resulting struggle between them is, as the critic Frank Rich has written,  a “hand-to-hand combat that amounts to a primal struggle for power. As usual for Mamet, the vehicle for that combat is cracking, highly distilled dialogue unencumbered by literary frills or phony theatrical ones.”

It’s a play that leaves almost no audience neutral. First performed in 1992, Oleanna has stimulated more debate about political correctness in university life than perhaps any other theater piece. The tension between the two increases almost unbearably as the play progresses to its unforgettable end.

Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize winner for his play Glengarry Glen Ross which was also made into a fine film, with many other notable theater and film works. This Playreaders production stars Clara Dunham as Carol and Michael Gottlieb as John. Light and sound are by Don Nieglos, and Henry Vermillion directs. Admission is only 20 pesos, and the doors open at 7pm. Seating is limited, and is first come, first serve.


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