Mamet’s play explores sexual harrassment

2008-02-28 00:00

Kickstart presents David Mamet’s Oleanna — a fascinating theatrical study fuelled with sexual tension that examines the notion of sexual harassment in the workplace, which comes to the Seabrookes Theatre from March 7 to 30.

“Oleanna is a two-character play by David Mamet about the power struggle between a university professor and one of his female students who accuses him of sexual harassment. Dramatic, taut and very provocative, Oleanna will have you laughing nervously and then arguing fiercely once the curtain comes down,” says director Steven Stead.

Brought to Durban by a multi-award-winning team that was responsible for the highly successful staging of Mamet’s Boston Marriage, Oleanna is directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King.

The programme of the American Theatre company Bench Theatre’s production notes: “In the no-man’s land between misunderstanding and sexual harassment, we watch with impotent dread as the relationship between professor and student entirely breaks down, as their mutual respect evaporates and an unbridgeable divide opens which can only destroy one or both of them. This is the gender war, and more than that. It’s the generation gap, and more than that. It’s the class struggle, and more than that. During its New York run, audiences actually came to blows as they left the theatre, so powerful is David Mamet’s writing. Time since has changed nothing.”

The title comes from a failed utopia in Wisconsin in the 19th century, where men and women failed to live in harmony.

•Venue: Seabrooke’s Theatre (DHS), 11 to 30 March. Previews @ R75 on Sat 8 March at 7.30 pm and Sun 9 March at 3 pm. Performances: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets: R90 at Computicket (unreserved); R75 for students and pensioners (valid ID required) at box office one hour before the show. (Cash sales only). No under-14’s.

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