February 21, 1994 |
While it's very tempting, I'm trying not to write an "I-just-didn't-like-your-review" response to Don Shirley's dismissive review of David Mamet's "Oleanna," which premiered at the Tiffany Theater on Feb. 4 ("Casting's Just One Bug in 'Oleanna,' " Calendar, Feb. 7). Shirley has two issues with the Los Angeles production: First, the dubbed-by-him "controversial casting" of Lionel Smith, an African American, as the professor, and second, he doesn't like the play itself.
June 8, 2009 |
When David Mamet's "Oleanna" emerged in 1992, it was as if a cherry bomb had been planted under the seats of progressive theatergoers. Written in the controversial wake of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill sexual harassment saga and smack in the middle of the bitterly divisive culture wars, the play took enormous delight in adopting a defiantly politically incorrect stance to the then-hot-button issue of political correctness. Nearly two decades later, it has become possible to respond to this polemical two-character drama with a cooler head.
November 20, 1994
In response to Camille Paglia's "The Real Lesson of 'Oleanna' " (Nov. 6): I would feel better about the films "Oleanna" and "Disclosure" if Hollywood had first made a movie dramatizing how sexual harassment disproportionately preys upon women in subordinate positions to their male harassers. Why is it that when sexual harassment finally hits the big screen in two major films, men are portrayed as its primary victims? Granted, the issue is sometimes complex and ambiguous, and artists like David Mamet are justified in probing its fuzzier regions.
November 21, 1994
I can't help but think that in Tammy Bruce's response ("When It Comes to Harassment, Paglia Cannot Speak for Us," Nov. 14) to Camille Paglia's commentary on David Mamet's film "Oleanna" ("The Real Lesson of 'Oleanna,' " Nov. 6), she is succumbing to the very problem Paglia is trying to identify: oversensitivity and overreaction. Mamet's work gives us a very clear picture of how anyone can, through careful manipulation of words out of context, denigrate anyone. As an educator, I have a perspective of the extent to which political correctness has begun to skew the learning process.
November 15, 2001 |
Over the past decade or so, David Mamet's "Oleanna" has intrigued audiences with its "Rashomon"-like perspective on a privileged, pedantic professor and the disgruntled female student who accuses him of sexual harassment. Made into a film in the mid-'90s, Mamet's searing examination of the politics of gender toys with our notion of reality. Is the professor an abusive sexist? Or is the student a dangerous ideologue with an ax to grind?
November 18, 2009 |
Class soon will be dismissed for David Mamet's "Oleanna." The Broadway premiere of his 1992 play, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, has posted a closing notice. Producers of the intense, two-person drama about sexual politics in a university town said the play would close Jan. 3 at the John Golden Theatre. Directed by Doug Hughes, the production of "Oleanna" first opened at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. in June featuring the same cast. It opened on Broadway in October, receiving mixed to positive reviews.