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Oleanna storms back onto Auckland’s stage


Oleanna storms back onto Auckland’s stage

“There can be no tougher or more unflinching play than Oleanna”

Harold Pinter

Since its premiere in 1992, David Mamet’s most controversial and celebrated work OLEANNA has polarised audiences on Broadway, in the West End and around the world. Now in the hands of director Michael Lawrence and Opportune Productions, OLEANNA demonstrates its enduring relevance at Auckland’s Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre from September 17 – October 4.

The first great American play to acknowledge the imminent 20th century ‘power shift’ between the sexes, OLEANNA begins with an unconventional university professor trying to assist a struggling female student who has come to him for help. The encounter soon sours. As opinions collide an epic power struggle is born, crashing ideals of sexual empowerment and free speech with invasive political correctness. The result is explosive.

Director Michael Lawrence says OLEANNA is likely to provoke more arguments than any other play this year: “This play raises the controversial issues of political correctness at a time when the nation has been tested by some high profile incidents of sexual harassment. It’s one of those plays that challenges everyone - as all great theatre should.”

Loaded with an impressive past, OLEANNA saw its debut under the guiding hands of Mamet and stars William H Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon. The play then stormed the Royal Court Theatre under the direction of Harold Pinter before sweeping its way across the world stage.

With Opportune Productions, OLEANNA returns to Auckland after ten years to enthrall audiences and ignite this ever-relevant debate.

Fresh from studying acting at New York’s Neighbourhood Playhouse (whose alumni include such acting greats as Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall and fellow New Zealander, Martin Henderson), Auckland-based actress Alison Titulaer will reprise Rebecca Pidgeon’s role playing university student, Carol Veteran stage actor Jim McLarty (12 Angry Men, True West, Angels in America) stars as college Professor John.

“Actors relish the opportunity to act in these volatile and tight two-handers”, says Jim. “These characters engage in the most extraordinary heated and intense discussions – giving us as actors a rare opportunity to provoke an audience to its core.”

In association with The Murray Hutchinson Creative Trust and with support from Creative Communities OLEANNA plays at the Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre from Sept 17 – Oct 4.

Bookings can be made through the Maidment Theatre box office on 09 308 2383 or


OLEANNA by David Mamet
Starring: Jim McLarty and Alison Titulaer
Writer: David Mamet
Direction: Michael Lawrence
Designers: Bronwyn Brent (set), Yee Yang (Square) Lee (lighting)
When: Preview - 8pm, Wed Sept 17
8pm, 18th Sep – Oct 4 except 4pm Sunday. No shows Monday.
Where: Musgrove Studio, Auckland University Campus, 8 Alfred St.
Tickets: $20 students and groups of 8 plus / $30 adult.

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