The Salisbury University production of Oleanna opens November 8 featuring two casts, Megan Murray and Gregory Jones (left), as well as John Ebery and Emily Jablonski.
SALISBURY, MD---Inspired by the 1992 saga of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and employee Anita Hill, David Mamet’s award-winning play Oleanna exposes the politics of power and sexual harassment.
Just in time for the release of Thomas’ autobiography, and the subsequent reanalysis of the accusations against him, Salisbury University hosts its own exploration of harassment in the workplace with a production of Oleanna.
Directed by Dr. T. Paul Pfeiffer of SU’s Communication and Theatre Arts Department, Oleanna is performed November 8-11 and 15-18 in the Black Box Theatre of Fulton Hall. For mature audiences only, the shows are 8 p.m., 2 p.m. on Sundays.
“The play is bound to stimulate meaningful and purposeful discussion in all who experience it,” Pfeiffer said. “Students, employees of local businesses and others in professional settings are especially invited to attend, and to utilize this as an opportunity for dialog about such subjects.”
Friday and Sunday shows are followed by discussions for audience members who wish to explore the subject further. Guest moderator is Dr. Tom Calo, professor of ethics, management and leadership responsibility courses in SU’s Perdue School of Business.
A two-character play, Mamet’s Oleanna examines the power struggle between a university professor and a female student seeking his help. On the verge of being granted tenure, and amid constant distractions from his office phone, the professor’s offers of assistance turn to disaster. Their conversation builds in intensity and urgency, and by the second act accusations of sexual harassment are pending. Frantic efforts to convince the student to reconsider the charges lead to further miscommunication and deeper wrong. Ultimately, both are left totally devastated.
Featuring two casts that perform on alternating evenings, the play is a study in the politics of power, or sexual power. “It has been interesting in rehearsals to see two sets of actors interpret the same role,” Pfeiffer said.
Greg Jones of the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts and SU student Megan Murray perform November 8, 10, 16 and 18. John Ebert and SU student Emily Jablonski perform November 9, 11, 15 and 17. Oleanna features scenery by Gerald Patt, lighting by Tom Anderson and costume design by John-James Ruetuelo, all of SU’s Department of Theatre and Communication Arts.
Sponsored by the Bobbi Biron Theatre Program, admission is $12, $10 for students and seniors. On Thursdays, admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors. SU ID holders receive one ticket free. Group discount rates are available. The performance is not suitable for young audiences. For tickets call the SU Box Office at 410-543-6228 or Bryan Prichard at 301-788-3627. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.