UB Department of Theatre and Dance to Perform Mamet's Oleanna

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: September 30, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo presents David Mamet's Oleanna on Oct. 27-31. The production, directed by Kazimierz Braun, will take place in the Black Box Theatre in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Oct. 27-30 and 2 p.m. Oct. 31.

Oleanna debates important issues of political correctness, sexual harassment, elitism in education and traditional male dominated social hierarchies. Mamet uses his two characters to represent opposing social groups and further intensifies their struggle by placing them in the cramped setting of a university professor's office. He sets the scene and leaves his characters to duke out the savage battle until the very last phone call. Mamet is one of the great contemporary American playwrights, noted for his use of language and conflict. Along with Oleanna, his critically acclaimed theatre work includes Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow and the Pulitzer Prize winning Glengarry Glen Ross. Additional highlights include his work in film, most notably The Verdict and The Untouchables.

UB's production will utilize three casts of two people to highlight the changing relationship of Oleanna's two characters. The cast of UB students includes Western New York natives Katie Osborn, Matthew Nerber, Kelsey Mogenson, Joe Siejak and John Jacoby, as well as Sarah Blewett from Syracuse.

Braun is professor of theatre and dance at UB. He has served as artistic and managing director of the Contemporary Theatre in Wroc"aw, Poland, and taught at the Wroc"aw University and Kraków/ Wroc"aw School of Drama, Poland. Additionally, he taught at several American universities before settling in at UB in 1986. He has directed in many countries including Poland, the United States, Canada, Germany and Ireland. He has published more than 30 books, including scholarly works, novels and plays.

Tickets for Oleanna are $18 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and one hour before the show, and all Ticketmaster locations including ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 716-645-2787. To charge tickets call 1-800-745-3000. For group sales, call 716-645-6771. Students must present valid student ID at the Center for the Arts Box Office to receive a discount.