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Oleanna, John Golden Theatre, NYC Show Poster
John Golden Theatre

252 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

1 hour 15 min
0 Intermission
Important Dates
Sep 29, 2009
Oct 11, 2009
Dec 06, 2009
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A powerful two-character drama about a fortysomething college professor, who is confronted by a female student failing his course. The provocative power struggle exposes the destructiveness of miscommunication and excessive ...


Spotlight On: <I>Oleanna</I>


Bill Pullman as John and Julia Stiles as Carol in Oleanna.

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This drama is an explosive two-character power struggle between a university professor and a student failing his course. When the student confronts the professor (who is up for tenure), a breakdown in communication results in an outrageous accusation and a range of emotions from confusion to pity to rage. Written as a response to the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings in 1992, this work is often cited as being about sexual harassment and political correctness, though the playwright leaves many questions unanswered.

Critics’ Reviews

"A gripping new production. Oleanna has lost none of its provocative power and is bound to inspire animated conversations long after the curtain falls."

Review by Elysa Gardner from USA Today

"Oleanna is incendiary and inflammatory, brusing and fascinating. The linguistic pyrotechnics of Playwright David Mamet are on full display. It's a difficult play to pull off, but Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, under the precise, careful direction of Doug Hughes, make the most of Mamet's seemingly imprecise language."

Review by Michael Kuchwara from Associated Press

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oleanna Like?
A tight 80-minute piece, Oleanna is sure to stimulate the audience into impassioned discourse about power, gender, class and political correctness. And it is designed to do just that. If you are interested in riveting drama that is not afraid to reveal the ugly underbelly of human interaction, this show is for you.

Is Oleanna Good for Kids?
Oleanna is a war of words, and those words can be incredibly harsh. This show is for older teens only—the subject matter (sexual harrassment), foul language and eventual physical violence of the production is not appropriate for youngsters.