Considered to be Mamet’s most controversial play, Oleanna has shocked and enraged audiences since its first performance in 1992. A confrontation between John, a college professor, and Carol, one of his students, quickly becomes an arena for a male–female power struggle that threatens both their careers.
As Mamet’s trademark dialogue crackles along, the mechanisms of power, censorship and abuse in our politically correct age are laid bare. Writing about the play, the New York Times described it as ‘wholly absorbing . . . a virtuoso performance . . . As if ripped right from the typewriter, it could not be more direct in its technique or incendiary in its ambitions’.
Oleanna was first performed at the American Repertory Theatre, Massachusetts, in May 1992. It was first produced in the United Kingdom at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1993, in a production directed by Harold Pinter.