2017-2018 Season Preview

This summer, we'll bring you an in-depth look at each of the plays in our 2017-2018 season.

Our second show on the mainstage: 
David Mamet's compelling drama Oleanna

OLEANNA
by David Mamet
directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue
OCT 14-NOV 5/2017    mainstage theater  

It’s all about power in David Mamet’s groundbreaking drama about political correctness and perception. When John, a professor, tries to help his student Carol, is it a misunderstanding or inherent misogyny that causes trouble? Featuring Johnny Lee Davenport (The Whipping Man, Thurgood) and Obehi Janice (The Gift Horse), Oleanna crackles with the fiery dialogue of Mamet at his finest.

Note: In accordance with the playwright's wishes and our contractual obligations, we will not be hosting post-performance talkbacks for this production. Visit our website soon for opportunities to engage with us, including our open First Rehearsal, Sneak Peek, and our fall session of Page to Stage.

Single tickets go on sale August 1.
Meet the Cast
JOHNNY LEE DAVENPORT
as John

( Thurgood, The Whipping Man )
OBEHI JANICE
as Carol

(The Gift Horse)
An Excerpt from the Script:
JOHN: ...that's my job, don't you know.
CAROL: What is?
JOHN: To provoke you.
CAROL: No.
JOHN: Oh. Yes, though.
CAROL: To provoke me?
JOHN: That's right.
CAROL: To make me mad?
JOHN: That's right. To force you...
CAROL: ...to make me mad is your job?
Behind the Title
A colony and a folksong

What is "Oleanna" and why did Mamet choose the word for the title of his play?

The story begins with Ole Bull, a Norwegian violin virtuoso who founded a colony in Pennsylvania in 1852. He envisioned the settlement as a utopia and named one of its four towns "Oleanna," combining his own first name and his wife, Anna's.

As his settlement ran into financial difficulties and ultimately failed, Ole Bull's critics in Norway penned a mocking ballad, also titled "Oleanna," which was later popularized by folk singer Pete Seeger:

"In Oleanna land is free,
The wheat and corn just plant themselves,
Then grow a good four feet a day,
While on your bed you rest yourself."
Meet the Playwright
David Mamet

David Mamet is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director from Chicago. His play Glengarry Glen Ross was awarded the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Oleanna marks the fifth Mamet play to be produced at New Rep, following American Buffalo (1996), Speed-the-Plow (2009), Boston Marriage (2010), and Race (2012).

As a writer, he is known for his fierce rhetoric which balances harsh language with beauty and humor. In an interview with The Paris Review, Mamet shared: “I always had compositions in my dreams. Sometimes after waking up I would remember a snatch or two and write them down. There’s something in me that just wants to create dialogue.”

Outside theatre, Mamet is well known for his screenplays, which include The Verdict (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), The Untouchables, Hannibal, Spanish Prisoner, Redbelt, and Phil Spector.
Oleanna is just one of the plays we're excited to explore this year; we hope you'll join us throughout our 2017-2018 season of plays chosen to showcase the remarkable RESILIENCE of the human spirit.

Theatre has the power to shed light in dark times, to illuminate and stimulate thought, and to provide a forum for us to come together as a community in conversation. It is our hope that these plays will inspire and engage you as New Repertory Theatre continues to be a place where the vital ideas of our time can be discussed freely and openly.
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JOHNNY LEE DAVENPORT RETURNS AS 
THURGOOD  FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY 
AT GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY!
THURGOOD
by George Stevens, Jr.
directed by Benny Sato Ambush
featuring Johnny Lee Davenport

Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30pm | BUY TICKETS  $25
267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA

A one man play about Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court,  Thurgood  spans Marshall’s impressive career as a lawyer, arguing such landmark cases as  Brown v. Board of Education .  
FROM OUR FRIENDS AT LYRIC STAGE COMPANY

A LOVE TRIANGLE FOR THE AGES — A NEW ADAPTATION FOR TODAY!

The romantic yet tragic tale of Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table is brought into sharper focus, with all the great music you love.

“Bold, vivid, and moving!” — WBUR, the ARTery

THEATER ADDRESS
Mosesian Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
200 Dexter Ave, Watertown, MA
617-923-7060 or info@newrep.org
SUMMER BOX OFFICE HOURS
Monday-Friday 12-5pm
617-923-8487  or  tickets@newrep.org