If one were mounting a production of David Mamet’s classic play “Oleanna” just at the moment, there is one casting choice that would be almost irresistible. The play features two characters, John, a professor about to get tenure and buy a new house, and Carol, his student who by play’s end is accusing him of sexual harassment. So what is the can’t miss combo for this terse, sexual drama? It would be hard to miss with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
“Oleanna” opened its first production almost exactly 30 years ago. It’s a simple two-hander, but one that led to audience reactions rarely seen before or since. In the first of two acts we see Carol in John’s office, she is shy, demure, lacking confidence, and