Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica
Radoš Bolčina, Tina Resman; foto SNG Nova Gorica/Damir Ipavec

David Mamet

Oleanna

Oleanna, 1992

Studio SNG Nova Gorica

A drama

on programme

online ticket purchase

  • 05. 03. 2024 at 19.30 Rudniška dvorana Idrija
  • 07. 03. 2024 at 20.00 SNG Nova Gorica

duration ! Hour and 20 Minutes

Performing

premiere

22. November 2023, SNG Nova Gorica

about text

Carol, a concerned and insecure student, sees her professor John to discuss why she failed his course. Their conversation takes an awkward turn when the professor, contemplating his philosophical positions and personal issues articulates certain thoughts that can be understood in different ways. Additionally, from the initially emotionless, haughty authority, he morphs into a perhaps overly empathetic mentor. During their next meeting, the now far more self-confident student accuses him of sexual harassment. And after a few more of her accusations, supported by a group of activists, the professor is denied tenure and his career slowly begins to crumble. He is certain he had done nothing wrong. She feels hurt and demands compensation.  

Oleanna is one of the most celebrated and most often staged plays by the contemporary American playwright, writer and director David Mamet. In his intellectually complex and technically perfected masterpiece from before the #metoo era, Mamet explores the relationship between students and teachers, the power of authority, the definition of sexual harassment, the destructiveness of miscommunication, and excessive political correctness. The play’s title, taken from a 19th-century folk song, refers to the vision of avoiding socio-political problems. Mamet adapted his play into a film of the same name (1994) that introduced the spectator to the same challenge: two truths – and whichever side you take, you are mistaken.

Are we talking about the professor’s sexual violence or about the narcissistic disorder of the student, who wishes to destroy the position of authority because of a bad grade? Without a doubt, both characters undergo a personal transformation, but it is a question of whether they can tolerate it. Mamet opens important questions and holds a mirror for humanity, he debates the personal boundaries of individuals and places us on the stairs of relationships with strangers, or even those closest to us – what do our acts cause, what consequences do they carry – which in the end results in a single question: what kind of a person am I and what kind of a person do I want to be

Tina Resman

What can we learn from Oleanna? Each one of us something different. I realised that I know that I know nothing. That life is colourful, that it is not black-and-white, that between these two extremes lie one-thousand-and-one realities, and that all the beings and their longings are individual.

Radoš Bolčina

View complete schedule for the show

  • 22. 11. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 23. 11. 2023 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 05. 02. 2024 at 20.00. Kosovelov dom Sežana
  • 07. 02. 2024 at 20.00. Kinogledališče Tolmin
  • 09. 02. 2024 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 15. 02. 2024 at 19.00. Kulturni center Lendava
  • 05. 03. 2024 at 19.30. Rudniška dvorana Idrija
  • 07. 03. 2024 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica