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Auditions for Oleanna at Spotlight Theater
Spotlight Theater announces auditions for OLEANNA, a controversia ldrama by David Mamet, the provocative, Chicago-born Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright,
screenwriter and director (author of Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed the Plow, Sexual Perversity in Chicago,American Buffalo, A Life in the Theatre, and Bobby Gould in Hell,
among many others). OLEANNA is a tour de force for the actors that inhabit its two roles, requiring great focus, and depth of understanding in the portrayal of a situation where, through in-depth conversations of intellectual concepts that are batted back and forth like tennis balls in Mamet’s trademark biting, rapid-fire, and quick-witted dialogue, understanding is the desperately sought after,
and seemingly unattainable, grail.
The play focuses on a professor, John, and a student, Carol, who visits his office to get help with her class work. He, in the process of buying a house to celebrate his
nomination for tenure, at first, seems distant. As the meeting progresses, they discuss the nature of understanding and judgment in society, and their own natures and places in society, and it seems a bond has been forged. Weeks later, Carol and John meet again, and it’s revealed that Carol has joined a “group” and filed a report with the tenure committee accusing John of
sexual harassment against her during their earlier meeting. They begin to dissect every word and nuance of their first meeting and everything seems to have been twisted into something else…Or has it?
Eventually, John's attempts to convince Carol to retract her
accusation escalate to a more dangerous level. The third meeting, one the court officers warn against, ends violently, and brings the show and our season to an unexpected, emotionally devastating and shattering climax…
A cast of 2 is
required including 1 role for a woman (character’s age
range: 20-24), and 1 role for a man (character’s age range: 40-48). (Characters' ages do not have to be actors' actual ages, and actors of any race and ethnicity are
encouraged to apply). More detailed character information is below.
Rehearsals (3 per week) and performances are at the troupe’s theater in New Lenox, IL. Rehearsal schedule, based on the availability of those cast, will be announced after auditions. The performance dates are July 20th–22nd & 27th–29th (with the possibility of an extension).
Actors will be paid a small stipend.
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.
No prepared monologues required. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, May 29th and Wednesday, May 30th from 6:30-10:00 P.M. (no appointments necessary) at Spotlight Theater Studio, 22032 Howell Dr., New Lenox, IL 60451.
Carol: (character age range: 20-24)
Carol is a student, who, despite attending an institution of higher learning, feels oppressed to an extent that denies her full education. She is seemingly incapable of synthesis, often consulting her notes to get the facts
straight but rarely coming up with an original idea of her own. She is full of insecurity, frustration and feelings of helplessness, and is looking for something or someone to
make her feel more secure and in control. She is torn between a concern for grades and a desire to genuinely learn, with a degree of self-hatred linked to her lack of scholastic success, and possibly other issues as well. She identifies being upset at her socio-economic background,
resenting the oppression which John and others of his station (an upper middle class male in a position of authority) exert, and says she desires understanding, yet she keeps herself well guarded in conversation. She
seems to be primarily concerned with mental things, and physically has the appearance of one who feels awkward in her own skin and is very controlled and reserved, introverted, in her physicality. However, by the play's
end, Carol, with the support and help of a group of advisers who validate her feelings of resentment and frustration and help give her strength of purpose by supporting her “position,” seems to become more
confident and reveals herself to be an intelligent woman previously hindered by her insecurities, who has now latched onto a political agenda and draws strength from this, and from her advisers, overcoming her feelings of
frustration and helplessness, and seems to possess, and perhaps enjoy wielding a newfound sense of power. But one senses that the old Carol is still there and should she lose the support of her “group,” she would likely revert to her old self fairly quickly.
age range: 40-48) John is college professor, and a
member of the ruling class, about to be granted tenure at the college and situated in a very nice cloud of upper-middle class security. He is, at times, pompous, has a strong sense of entitlement, and a confidence that
slips into arrogance, but he will often admit when he is wrong (assuming he recognizes it), and he is good at
heart, with an honest desire to express his thoughts (which he often thinks quite highly of) to his students. John is very open and honest, sharing his motivations, and
spelling out his desires, passions and whims. He is also
honest in his confusion, exasperation and desperation. John examines and critiques the institution of higher learning and the system of education in general in
his classes and his conversations with Carol, to the mind of some, biting the hand that feeds him. However, for an individual whose primary role is analysis, he turns surprisingly little of this analysis inward to monitor
and limit his own behavior. Caught up in his own affairs, he sometimes fails to notice the effect his words and behavior have on others. John is open and comfortable in his physicality, occasionally touching Carol to comfort her. His physical acts are those of a normal person, one who
is not terribly self-conscious of contact and who lives both a meaningful mental life and a physical one. A rare instance of self-reflection on John's part later in the play leads him to confront his true feelings, his desires for security and material goods which are somewhat at odds with his teachings, and he slowly moves from vain self-righteousness to a sort of humble modesty.
More details are available at
facebook.com/SpotlightTheater; or by emailing Jeff
or by calling 708-941-8294.
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