Announcing an open casting call for a summer studio production of David Mamet’s 1992 drama Oleanna. Performances will be August 23-26 in the Phoenix Theatre, part of the Black Box series at Perseverance.
Auditions will be by appointment: 1-5 p.m. Friday, July 27 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 29. To audition, contact Enrique Bravo: 907-364-2421 ext. 239, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first scene of Mamet’s controversial play, college student Carol drops by her professor’s office, seeking help to do better in class. John, the professor, in the midst of buying a house to celebrate his nomination for tenure, at first seems distant. The two discuss the nature of understanding and judgment in society, as well as their very own natures and places in our society. It seems as if a bond has formed, but later we find that a report has been filed to the tenure committee: Carol has joined a “group” and claimed that John sexually harassed her. Their second meeting dissects the first; every word, every nuance of the first meeting has been twisted into something else. Or has it? John’s attempts to convince Carol to retract her accusation escalate to a dangerous level. The third meeting, one the court officers warned against, climaxes violently, leaving John and Carol both physically and emotionally devastated.
“I chose [Oleanna] for a variety of reasons,” said director Enrique Bravo, actor-in-residence at Perseverance. “The fact that it’s a strong two-hander with one set throughout the entire piece was helpful, given the logistics of the Black Box, but I also feel that this play has a lot to say in our current climate. Twenty-five-plus years since Oleanna was first produced, and these power dynamics between men and women are really just starting to be examined,” Bravo added, pointing to the #METOO movement and other examples.
“My hope is to provoke thought and keep that conversation going,” the director said. “That is one of the things I have always loved about theatre: its ability to serve as a platform for difficult conversations.”
Black Box at Perseverance Theatre is an ongoing studio series housed in our second space, the Phoenix (adjacent to our lobby at 914 Third Street in Douglas). Curated by Perseverance-affiliated artists, and open to participation by everyone, Black Box hopes to foster emerging local talents—writers, actors, directors, technicians, and more—by providing opportunities apart from our mainstage productions. It’s also a place to push our audiences a little bit, too. Got an idea for a future Black Box project? Talk to us!