Fractured Theatre @WTG presents OLEANNA, by David Mamet


August 26, 2019

Fractured Theatre @WTG presents OLEANNA, by David Mamet

In its fourth production, Fractured Theatre, which calls itself the “edgy little cousin” of the Windham Theatre Guild, again takes up provocative themes with contemporary resonance.

A modern classic by playwright David Mamet, Oleanna premiered in 1992 at a time when the term “politically correct” was just beginning to take off and in the immediate aftermath of U.S. Senate hearings regarding Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and leaked FBI reports that he sexually harassed an employee, law professor Anita Hill.

“I remember the ‘Anita Hill hearings’ from the evening news when I was a girl,” said Tina Huey, the show’s director. I think they made an impression on a lot of people, and here you had this powerful Supreme Court nominee defending himself against a woman forced by circumstance to tell her story in full light of public scrutiny.”

It seems those events may have made an impression on the playwright, too.

Set entirely in the office of a college professor, Oleanna begins with a meeting about a grade. Soon the discussion turns into quicksand for John, the professor, and his student, Carol. The situation escalates when Carol files a complaint of sexual harassment and John finds everything he has worked for under threat.

According to Huey, it was necessary to set the play in its original time period, though the play’s resonance for the “Me Too” era isn’t lost on anyone. But, says Huey, “the play is as much about power struggles between generations, and about education as an arena where power and status are exercised. John and Carol’s interactions are toe-cringing but, in Mamet’s hands, bitingly comical.”

Oleanna will be presented at the Burton Leavitt Theatre in Willimantic on

September 20th at 7:30

September 21st at 7:30

September 22nd at 2:00

Burton Leavitt Theatre, 779 Main Street, Willimantic

Tickets $19 (student and senior discounts available)

Produced by Jim York

Directed by Tina Huey

Dan Bender as John

Meaghan Labas as Carol

See attached photo.

Dan Bender as John and Meaghan Labas as Carol in Fractured Theatre’s production of  Oleanna,

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