Lehigh University’s Department of Theatre kicks off its 2012-2013 season with David Mamet’s riveting "OLEANNA".
Fast, funny and ferocious, OLEANNA tells the story of Carol, a first-year college student who is frustrated in class. She visits her professor, John, in his office for help. What happens next behind closed doors will explore the limits of power, gender conflict, political correctness, and the wonders of higher education.
“OLEANNA…is likely to provoke more arguments than any play," said Frank Rich in The New York Times.
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 28, 29, Oct. 3,4,5 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.
Where: Diamond Theater, Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University
How much: $5 for students, $12 general admission.
Oleanna is packed with electrifying dialogue, blazing emotion and an ending that leaves the audience wanting more. The plot revolves around Carol, a student who approached her professor privately at his office, concerned about her failing grades. It soon turns into a war of words and deeds that lead to a shocking climax. “Mamet loved this play, directing its Broadway premier as well as the movie version that starred William H. Macey,” said Lehigh Director Augustine Ripa.
David Mamet won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his play Glengarry Glen Ross. He also received a Tony nomination for that work and Speed the Plow. He has received Oscar nominations for screenwriting Wag the Dog and The Verdict. Mamet was born in Chicago. As a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company, he first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and America Buffalo. His other works include several novels, poetry, short plays, television shows, non-fiction text and children’s stories.
Several events will be held on campus in conjunction with the play. On Tuesday, September 25, a Brown Bag Lunch hosted by the director and cast will be held at the University Center Faculty Lounge East at noon to talk about the issues surrounding the play. On Thursday, October 4, an after-show on-stage talk back with the cast and crew held in conjunction with the LU Women’s Center will be held to discuss the play. Both events are free and open to the public.
Director Augustine Ripa is the former Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of theatre at Lehigh University, where he teaches acting, directing and drama theory. Recent productions directed at Lehigh include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Twelfth Night, A Doll’s House, The Country Wife and Top Girls. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and has served the US Department of Education as a Jacob Javits Fellowship field reader.
Oleanna features Lehigh University seniors Esperanza Pacheco ‘13 and Andrew Chupa ‘13 in the title roles as Carol and Professor John. Pacheco hails from Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She is a senior majoring in theatre and Spanish. Her recent Lehigh credits include Dusty and the Big Bad World, The Listener, A Nightingale and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. She will serve as props master for the upcoming Diamond Theater production The Crucible and Black Box production Another Antigone.
Chupa is a senior theatre major from Allentown. He recently was awarded a Strohl Undergraduate Research Grant which funded a trip to Dublin, Ireland to study at the Gaiety School of Acting and attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was seen most recently in Interior: Panic, The Belle's Stratagem and gEner8-tion Txt. He directed The Listener and will be directing The Laramie Project in Spring 2013. He is a member of the Hobo Army Improvisational Troupe.
The design team includes Lucas Ingram ‘13, set designer, Rebecca Osbourn ‘13, costume designer and Kristian Ball, sound designer, with Danni Deutschman as lighting designer. Andrew Southard is the technical director and Ian Yoder, ‘13 is the stage manager.
For information, call 610-758-2787 (7LU-ARTS); visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday - Friday from 12 - 5 pm, Saturday 11 am-1 pm, and 90 minutes before curtain, or order online at www.zoellnerartscenter.org. Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.